Full Musical Set Will Mark the First Time a Google I/O Performance is Live Streamed
Fresh from a highly anticipated return with their new singles “Call the Police” and “American Dream,” LCD Soundsystem will take the stage at this year’s Google I/O conference to perform a full set packed with favorites spanning their acclaimed catalog. Previously an experience only open to Google I/O attendees, this will be the first time a performance from the event will be available to fans worldwide.
Kicking off at 9:00 PM PT on Thursday, May 18, the LCD Soundsystem performance at Google I/O will be available to stream here: youtube.com/lcdsoundsystem
About Google I/O
Google I/O is an annual developer festival held at the outdoor Shoreline Amphitheatre, bringing local developer communities together to experience the I/O keynotes and sessions with one another in real-time, around the globe. They may also offer unique activities such as hackathons, codelabs, and demos. With hands-on learning, technical talks, and Googlers on-hand to share their insights, Google I/O is returning for the second year at Shoreline Amphitheatre. From May 17-19, you’ll dive into hands-on learning experiences, listen to technical talks, and get a chance to hear more about Google’s latest developer products.
THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL NAMES WICKED COOL TOYS AS MASTER TOY LICENSEE
The Pokémon Company International Will Also Become a Strategic Investor
in the Innovative and Growing Toy Company
Bellevue, WA—May 8, 2017—Building on its mission to bring the best Pokémon experiences to fans around the world, The Pokémon Company International announced the appointment of Wicked Cool Toys as master toy licensee for the globally popular Pokémon brand, starting in July 2018. Wicked Cool Toys will have the rights to manufacture and market action figures, play sets, plush, roleplay items, and other toys based on the hit Pokémon animated series in worldwide markets, excluding regions in Asia where the brand is managed by The Pokémon Company International’s parent organization, The Pokémon Company.
“Pokémon is one of the most beloved entertainment properties in the world, and Wicked Cool Toys is thrilled to become part of that legacy,” said Michael Rinzler, co-president of Wicked Cool Toys.
“We can’t wait to deliver innovative and fun toys that embody the joy of Pokémon to kids and the brand’s millions of passionate fans around the world,” said Jeremy Padawer, co-president of Wicked Cool Toys.
The Pokémon Company International also announced it has become a strategic investor in Wicked Cool Toys and will have a seat on the toy company’s board of directors. This new partnership will allow for enhanced collaboration in the development of Pokémon toys with the growing toy company. The investment in Wicked Cool Toys is in line with the strategic partnership approach The Pokémon Company International engaged in with Niantic Inc., the developers and publishers of Pokémon GO.
“Toys are a major part of Pokémon’s mission to bring the fun and joy of the brand to kids and fans around the world, and we’re excited to welcome Wicked Cool Toys to the Pokémon family as its master toy licensee,” said Colin Palmer, vice president of Marketing & Licensing at The Pokémon Company International. “Wicked Cool Toys is a growing company, and we’re thrilled to build a strategic partnership with them through both collaboration and financial investment.”
TOMY will continue to be a key licensing partner for the Pokémon brand and will produce select items as well as products inspired by Pokémon video games, such as the popular Pokémon Z-Ring, which interacts with the mega hits Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, currently available for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
The development of Pokémon toys from Wicked Cool Toys will begin immediately, with the first products expected to arrive at retail locations in fall 2018.
There is so much high profile conversation surrounding Netflix’s newest hit show 13 REASONS WHY. There are those that feel it’s a “dangerous” show, one that could potentially glamorizes the horrible act of suicide; Then there are people, like myself, who feel the show’s importance can’t be understated and that everyone must watch it.
The fact that it is prompting strong conversations about suicide and bullying is important. Talks of suicide should never be dismissed, a life can truly depend on it.
For those that don’t know what the show is about here is it’s synopsis. Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details a reason that she killed herself.
The show resonated with me on a deep personal level. I can see my 16 year old self in Hannah. I know what it was like to feel broken, lost, and alone. Just like a lot of people I have personally battled depression far longer than I would like to admit, which then opened the door to anxiety. I have stood of the precipice of despair, teetering on the edge of the abyss, but unlike Hannah, I had those that saw the signs and heard my pleas, without me ever having to utter a word.
I was lucky. I have known more than a few who were not so lucky. Lost in the depths of their own pain, and succumbing to their demons. I’ve felt the grief of unanswered questions and the colossal weight of guilt. I only hope they found the peace, which so eluded them while they walked this earth.
Feeling suicidal is lonely. You are consumed with thoughts that nobody would understand, or thoughts and emotions, so easily and readily dismissed. 13 REASONS WHY shines a massive light on those feelings. Connecting with, and knowing you are not alone in these thoughts, may help.
I’ve had friends who’ve told me, I was like a beacon for the broken. Those lost had a way of gravitating towards me. I have helped them weather through their darkest storms; showing how I understood, allowing them to see they were not alone. Just as those who have helped me have done before. That is how I see the show – a beacon for the broken.
13 REASON WHY also spotlights the destructive effects bullying can have. With the technological advances and social media sites of today, there no longer is an easy escape from constant bullying. When even home is no longer safe, how can one ‘just ignore it’, as is the usual advice to a complaint of bullying. We should no longer excuse it by simply saying, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘girls can be so catty/jealous’. Whether the results are suicide, there should never be an excuse to bullying.
The conversations and debates 13 REASON WHY is causing speaks volumes to how relatable it is to so many. No matter which side you are on, it is important the conversations continue. We should never remain silent about suicide.
We here at Alternative Mindz encourage families and friends to talk and support each other. For more please check out American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Arkane have, in just a short amount of time, mastered their craft. The Dishonored games did a great job at throwing a bunch of tools at the player and letting them navigate rich deep worlds the way they want to. Prey feels the same, only amplified. Trading in swords and spirits for guns and neurological enhancements, Prey could be construed as Arkane’s take on science fiction. It hits some pretty familiar beats throughout, but Prey feels like a natural evolution of the Arkane trademark formula.
Prey itself takes place in an alternate timeline where John F Kennedy survived the assassination attempt in 1963, in turn directing more funding into the space program and sending us into space much earlier. In Prey, you are Morgan Yu, an employee for Transtar who presently owns the research space station Talos-1. Morgan wakes up with little to no memory of his past, but discovers that he himself is intrinsically tied to the station and its bizarre alien research.
Prey-Screen-CorpsePrey’s storyline sounds pretty cliché and at times it is, though the story isn’t afraid to head into stranger directions than you’d normally expect. As the game began I wasn’t too keen to progress in the story, instead exploring the space station at my own leisure. Though as I got further in, Prey threw some twists at me that hooked me on the ideas it was selling. Despite this, I still found the playable character somewhat unlikable and the main villain quite forgettable. Still, Prey’s story hits the right beats at the right time to pique players’ interests. Think of it as a warped combination: Memento meets Dead Space meets BioShock.
When you play the first hour or so of Prey, more seasoned gamers will see where the game draws inspiration. You’re on a space station, it’s falling apart, you start off with a wrench, you use powers to defend yourself called psionics and you’re being lead along by a faceless or mysterious voice. Prey is woven from strong genes – taking inspiration from Dead Space, Dishonored, System Shock and BioShock. It’s a first-person game that isn’t afraid to have moments of quiet time to let you explore the sprawling space station that is Talos-1 at your own pace and leisure.
That’s really the name of the game with Prey. It’s an open world, that lets you explore areas of the space station in (almost) whatever order you wish. Everything is connected, whether you want to naturally get to an area using the winding corridors of the space station or you want to leave the station and re-enter it elsewhere while floating in space. Prey’s densely packed world, shortcuts and connections all come together to give the game a sense of having an open world without the barren filler environments that commonly come with it.
When you’re navigating the world of Prey you’ll be outfitted with a variety of abilities, weapons and powers that let you approach the playground of Talos-1 the way you want to. Most weapons serve a dual purpose – they can also be used to create platform on the walls to circumvent obstacles, or activate buttons from a short distance away. Each weapon having multiple uses encourages experimentation, as well as thinking outside of the box.
When you’re done with Prey once, I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to jump into it again. Not only because you’ll probably miss something while trying to explore the sprawling Talos-1 station, but also because you can change the outcome of the game based on your treatment of others throughout the story. It’s nothing totally revolutionary, but given Prey’s flexible systems, running through a second time is bound to be different to your first, intentional or not.
Your play style will greatly decide how long it’ll take you to run through Prey, though I’d estimate most players would get at least fifteen to twenty hours out of their first run. Perhaps even more if they explored the station thoroughly. This much is certain: Prey is a game that just begs to be played at least once more once you’ve finished it.
Taking a page out of Dishonored’s book, Prey features a stylised art style to bring its world to life. The result is something that never looks hyper-realistic but something more distinctive instead. Artistically speaking, Prey brings together retro designs with futuristic ones to create something not unlike BioShock’s Art Deco style. From a technical standpoint, the game is running on CryEngine which brings with it the usual caveats for consoles – namely longer than desirable load times. It’s not the best-looking game, especially compared to others, but Prey does its own thing and it does its own thing well.
Prey’s world is run down yet colourful, and the soundtrack perfectly complements the experience. Composed by Mick Gordon, the score is filled with sublime synth beats and strange, otherworldly noises and sound effects to create something eerie, atmospheric and tense. These pieces do an amazing job at elevating the already strong atmosphere aboard Talos-1, and is quite possibly one of the strongest soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a game.
Prey is another win for Arkane. It’s a game where everyone who plays it will have a different experience. One thing is certain though – that Prey remains a consistent experience from beginning to end. Providing players with intuitive gameplay systems with great synergy, freedom to approach combat how you want and game design that rewards creativity are just three ways that Prey succeeds. While BioShock was heralded as the spiritual successor to System Shock, Prey feels like a much more successful attempt. An absolute joy to play and experience.
As of late, big names in board games have been adapting the digital ways of milennials and coming out with apps to complement their traditional physical game. From Monopoly to Ubongo, these strategy games are leading the mobile gaming industry with tons of downloads.
And what’s better?
Now, some of them are available for free! For a limited time only (April 28-30), the Ubongo game app, created by award-winning board game and educational toy manufacturer Thames & Kosmos, will be available for free download on both iTunes and Google Play app stores. With more than 2.5 million games sold worldwide, Ubongo is a fast-paced, addictive and easy-to-learn geometric puzzle game where players race against the timer and against each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. The faster you solve the puzzle, the more gems you get, and the player with the most valuable gem treasure after nine rounds of puzzle solving wins the game! The companion app features more than 400 engaging puzzles to solve as well.
LEGO CITY Undercover was first released in 2013 exclusively to the Nintendo Wii U, with a similar release on the 3DS platform. This release is a port of the original game across all the latest platforms to a sharper, faster-loading version, which also introduces two player co-operative gameplay.
I’ve played many of the LEGO franchise games across a number of different platforms and LEGO CITY Undercover has a very familiar look and feel to its predecessors, in terms of the gameplay and the cutscenes providing the storyline in between gameplay. The game finds our hero Chase McCain returning to LEGO CITY to capture the notorious Rex Fury while also protecting Natalia Kowalski, who has entered a witness protection programme after providing evidence to put him behind bars before he managed to escape.
The first part of the game is heavily driven by cutscenes as it introduces the characters and gameplay to the player. For those familiar with LEGO games this does feel very laboured, as you’re probably itching to get started. That said, this part of the game does set the familiar humorous tone of the game, which in my opinion hasn’t grown tired at all; the detective briefing scene at the start of the game is great and features characters such as Starsky & Hutch, Sherlock Holmes and Columbo. An early level in the game takes Chase McCain to Albatross Island, which looks remarkably like Alcatraz, and the level centres around a plot line featuring numerous references to the film Shawshank Redemption. While some of the humour may be wasted on younger players, the game wouldn’t be the same without it and as an adult player it does maintain interest and puts a smile on your face.
The game may not be challenging to seasoned gamers as it’s not difficult to complete the levels, but there is plenty to explore in the 20 districts of the open-world LEGO CITY, so there’s plenty of longevity. I loved the scanner aspect of the game, which allows Chase to track the bad guys with some pretty neat tech. There are also elements of the city marked with blue and white bricks, which effectively allow our hero to perform some free running and cool slow motion action.
The game is a delight and the game will keep you entertained for hours. The open-world is great to explore and there’s plenty to achieve and unlock outside of the core storyline. There are many great elements to this game, all of which contribute to a great experience, so this comes highly recommended.
i had the privilage to cover this year’s NY Auto Show and so far it has been a blast. Today i share Photos that i have taken from the event and the car lines include Scion, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Hyundai and more. I also attended the media breakfast as awards were being presented and given to winners of the advertisers of the cars. During the breakfast, there were announcements to new ads that will premiere within the next few months.
KINO LORBER ACQUIRES TOM OF FINLAND, A BIOPIC ABOUT THE ACCLAIMED FINNISH EROTIC ARTIST AND GAY ICON, AHEAD OF ITS NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE AT THE 2017 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
New York, NY – April 14, 2017 – Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to TOM OF FINLAND, Dome Karukoski’s biopic about the life and work of Finnish artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland.
A trailblazing figure in post-World War II erotic art, Touko Laaksonen drew thousands of fantasy-filled, homoerotic images of intensely masculine (and muscular) men, often liberated from the moral codes of their times. Quickly spreading throughout the world, these images went on to play a significant role in the transnational gay liberation movement that continues to make strides to this day, also becoming iconic symbols for generations of LGBT people worldwide.
Dome Karukoski’s TOM OF FINLAND is set to have its North American premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film festival, after a world premiere at the Goteborg Film Festival in February. It’s also in high demand among LGBTQ U.S. festivals. The film’s world premiere was followed by a release in its home territory, where TOM OF FINLAND has taken close to $1m at the local box office.
The deal was negotiated between head of worldwide sales Vanessa Saal for Protagonist Pictures and Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber.
‘Touko Laaksonen dared to draw and give life to his most daring and transgressive fantasies, and by doing so, inspired an entire generation of LGBT people to also live and desire freely,” said Richard Lorber. “Dome Karukoski’s film captures the man, as well as his milieu, in an incredibly cinematic and powerful way, so we’re very proud to be bringing TOM OF FINLAND to North American audiences this year.”
Vanessa Saal of Protagonist added; “We are so pleased the film has found such a good home for North America. Kino Lorber handpicks and nurtures each of its titles. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and we know they will spread TOM OF FINLAND love across America.”
Director Dome Karukoski is an acclaimed Finnish filmmaker with six features to his credit including The Grump (2014), Heart Of A Lion (2013) and Lapland Odyssey (2010).
The film was produced by Finnish production outfit Helsinki Film, with a screenplay by Aleksi Bardy. The cast includes Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Taisto Oksanen, Seumas Sargent, Jakob Oftebro and Niklas Hogner.
Aleksi Bardy, Miia Haavisto and Annika Sucksdorff of Helsinki Film produced the film. Gunnar Carlsson of Anagram Väst in Sweden, Miriam Nørgaard of Fridthjof Film in Denmark, and Ingvar Thordarson and Sophie Mahlo of Neutrinos Productions Germany were co-producers, in collaboration with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor of Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) UK.
ABOUT KINO LORBER:
With a library of 1,600 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, with six Academy Award nominated films in the last eight years, including this year’s nominated documentary FIRE AT SEA, directed by Gianfranco Rosi.
In addition, the company brings over 250 titles each year to the home entertainment market through physical and digital media releases under its five house brands. It also now distributes a growing number of third party labels in all ancillary media and is a direct digital distributor to all major digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Filmstruck, Tribeca Shortlist, Amazon, Vimeo, VHX, Fandor, Mubi and Others.
Next from Kino Lorber are the theatrical releases for Bruno Dumont’s SLACK BAY, starring Juliette Binoche and set for an April 21 NY opening at Quad Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Vanessa Gould’s OBIT, opening April 26 at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinema.
ABOUT PROTAGONIST PICTURES:
Protagonist Pictures is an international finance, production and sales company which has a proven track record in outstanding films and commercial successes. Based in the UK, the company handles films from around the world, always maintaining a strong focus on filmmakers with exceptional vision and storytelling skills.
Protagonist’s current slate includes Francis Lee’s Sundance award-winner GOD’S OWN COUNTRY; Charlie McDowell’s Netflix title THE DISCOVERY which stars Robert Redford, Jason Segel and Rooney Mara; Berlin competition title THE DINNER, Oren Moverman’s adaptation of the Herman Koch novel, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Steve Coogan.
In distribution in 2017 are Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE, Eleanor Coppola’s PARIS CAN WAIT and Adam Smith’s feature debut TRESPASS AGAINST US. Titles in post-production include Clio Barnard’s DARK RIVER and Amma Asante’s WHERE HANDS TOUCH.
Traveller’s Tales have used the LEGO license perfectly by building Lego Worlds as a rival to Minecraft. The game is loosely tied to some rules but has a nice structure in itself to keep the players interested. The premise has the player as a space traveller who gets bumped onto the world and has his ship broken. So, he rebuilds his ship and sets off in pursuit of new words. In the way, he finds out various devices which help in building, replicating and demolishing.
There is Discovery tool which is largely used throughout the game. Just point it to a new object, hit X when it gets highlighted and the item will be added in your vast library of parts and people. You can then deploy these parts and people whenever their need arises. Going on in the game you will also get the opportunity to build an entire world from the scratch. But before that, you will get introduced to and well versed with all the rules, options and controls of the game.
You get to do amazing things and go on adventures including fighting to save a queen or saving cavemen from the wrath of volcanoes. The most amazing thing is that everything that is part of the game world is made of LEGO. So, you have almost entire control and can copy, paint, build, destroy, almost anything you want.
You can do anything you want to. Create a mountain, replicate a castle, or dig out treasure. Sometimes you may get guided by the game, sometimes you will just want to get your hands dirty and create something amazing. But learning to use the tools and getting used to its not so intelligent input manipulation is hard. Your buildings may get fiddly in the beginning, put some time into and you become an expert.
The only flaw in the game is its issue of frame rate and the camera which gets upset in congested areas. It gets especially annoying when you are moving too fast and the game loads up the terrain slowly. In local co-op mode, the game gets really patchy and may feel like everything is just disconnected from each other. But with the gameplay being of a very relaxed nature, it never becomes much of a problem.
The game has a feel that it is the first towards a much greater game. Just some tweaks here and there and Traveller’s Tales might get something outstanding in line. Still, kids can get easily lost in its world for hours and the offline and co-op mode further complement those possibilities. This game is easily a 4 out 5 for its unique experience.