Most Anticipated Films Coming in 2017

Curious to know what some of the most anticipated movies are to hit the theaters in 2017?

From the latest NewsWatch episode, entertainment host, Michelle Ison, breaks down her list of top 5 movies to come out this year.

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Enter to Win a FREE Game of Smart Ass

Looking for a little board game action for when you get snowed in with friends and family? Enter for a chance to win a free game of Smart Ass!

The contest runs until January 4, 2017 so be sure to follow our really simple rules to qualify. Here’s how to enter:

 

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If you’re not sure what Smart Ass is about or how to play, be sure to give our video a quick watch below.

Good luck!

Top 5 Holiday Movies to Binge Watch | Entertainment Report

Entertainment correspondent, Michelle Ison, broke down the Top 5 Christmas movie list to watch during the holidays.

 

Cozy up with friends and family by the fire and watch the Christmas classics that you grew up with. From How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Home Alone, these are the movies that are sure to get your nostalgia going.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to keep up with other reports, editorials, and more.

Jon Favreau Creates a Virtual Reality World with ‘Gnomes & Goblins’

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

By: Hazel-Lovely Saunders

Technology and entertainment are merging faster than ever with the latest tool—virtual reality. Filmmakers and other creators are taking on this tool to create videos, games, news and more. Created by director Jon Favreau, known for Chef and The Jungle Book, is the latest fusion of entertainment and tech. It’s called Gnomes & Goblins.

A preview of the project is being released on Thursday, Sept. 8 for free on the HTC Vive VR headset. The preview of the project is set in an enchanted forest, a similar setting to The Jungle Book, where you act as the lead in the film. During the preview you meet a tiny goblin and befriend him. The way you interact with the goblin determines your path in where your story goes. As the main character you will be free to wander and explore at your own pace.

Cpurtesy of Road to VR.

Courtesy of Road to VR.

“There’s people who come from a gaming background who see the gaming potential [of VR], and there’s people who come from a cinema background that see how they expand it,” Favreau says. “But to me everything in between is the Oklahoma land grab. You can stake out a little piece of land in the middle of this that’s unique.”

The preview of Gnomes & Goblins takes about 10 minutes to play but eventually the idea is what Favreau describes as “Like Disneyland. Where you build more and more out.” If the preview launch becomes successful, he plans to release a more built-out version of the project. Check out the preview below:

Let us know what you think about this new Favreau project. What other films would you like to see become part of a VR world? Tweet us, like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to stay updated with weekly articles here.

Five Entertainment Tech Trends You Should Know

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By Hazel-Lovely Saunders

Creativity is the working body in the entertainment industry. And with recent advances in technology, creatives are finding insane ways to incorporate tech into entertainment. From virtual reality headsets in movie theaters to CGI in Fast 7. You never know what new technology will be up next for the industry.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses software-generate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations to channel a real environment.

The Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset, accumulated $2.5m in funding on Kickstarter and was available for the blockbuster film “Interstellar” to let audiences interact with the movie’s spacecraft and explore areas in the film. Hopefully we get to watch all movies on VR.

 

VR isn’t only popular in watching movies, but it’s the new trend in gaming. You’ll find VR gaming headsets from all the tech giants. For example, Samsung released their Gear VR while Sony is in the works for a headset for PlayStation 4. Additionally, Valve Software and HTC are working on Vive.

  1. Augmented Reality (AR)

Now augmented reality (AR) is found in the latest addition, Pokémon Go. This technology blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer generated. Basically a mix of virtual reality, computer-generated environments, and what’s in the real world in real time.

In Pokémon Go players use their mobile device’s GPS capability to capture, battle and train virtual created, who appear on the screen as if they were in the same real world.

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But Pokémon Go isn’t the only one in the AR arena, Microsoft is currently working on a high-profile HoloLens project, and Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the company is working on augmented reality.

  1. High Dynamic Range

High-dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a high dynamic range (HDR) technique used in imagining and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range. It’s better visual experience with greater contrast—highlights, brighter colors and a lifelike images.

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An example of HDRI is 4K TV. This tech is on the rise, but it probably needs to be watched on a huge TV to notice the difference. This tech can also be found in compact cameras like the new Nikon DL series feature 4K video. Although 4K can be very crisp it takes a lot of memory storage and a strong hard drive to import videos.

  1. Real-Time Cloud Rendering

Cloud rendering is a fast process of creating constant-shape clouds for games and flight simulators. Basically rendering of clouds in real-time. This technology can be used to render complex game image son mobile devices. Major studios use this to cut visual effects costs.

Atomic Fiction’s Conductor is in the lead for these visual effects technique and helped the visual effects for the movie, “The Walk”.

  1. Light Field

A light field camera captures information about the light field emanating from a specific scene; that includes, the intensity of light of the scene and the direction that the light rays are traveling in space. This gives the photographer flexibility to shoot first and choose the focus, aperture and settings after.

This is a time-saver for film shoots. Instead of multiple cameras for different focus points, this will capture it all in one shot. You can edit and change the settings after each shot to satisfy which image you want.

Ars Electronica 2013 - Lytro light-field photography

Ars Electronica 2013 – Lytro light-field photography

Companies Otoy and Lytro offer light-field capturing devices. Other companies like nVidia is also researching this field.

Join the conversation and let us know your thoughts and comments below. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

Fun from the Past: Top 5 Childhood Fads Making A Comeback

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By Hazel-Lovely Saunders

“Gotta catch ‘em all!” A slogan that has been sung or said multiple times since the wake of Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go, A location-based augmented reality game that lets you capture, battle and train fictional monsters called “Pokémon.”

The world is heavily focused on the game due to it bringing a classic childhood fad back. Since Pokémon Go a lot of other games and toys have either never left so kids now can enjoy them now or resurfaced just like Pokémon.

But is Pokémon go just merely just a passing trend? Are people just wanting to capture all the creatures forget about the “hype” once the fad is over? Already a Pokémon Go player has caught all the Pokémon available in the U.S. and is traveling to other countries to capture region-specific creatures and the infamous Ditto.

Let’s walk down memory lane shall we? Read below about some throwback games and toys that should be back.

1. BeybladesP3

 

The toys that were released in the early 2000’s which came with a ‘launcher’-a device to spin the tops in a plastic arena called Beystadium. It is also the name of a Japanese manga and soon became a not so successful TV show. These spinning tops gave kids the opportunity to battle in real life unlike Pokémon or Digimon.

2. Digimon

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Digimon short for “Digital Monsters” soon came out after Pokémon in the early 2000’s, but with their concept focused on digital monsters living in a “Digital World,” a parallel universe. Just like Pokémon, the franchise had a TV show, movies, manga, toys and video games.

With the Digimon device you had to take care of your digimon, made sure it ate, stay healthy, clean up after it and battle. Seems like Digimon may be better than Pokémon.

3. Beanie BabiesP6

 

The popularity of these “beans” stuffed animal became a worldwide phenomenon when it launched the nine original Beanie Babies. The franchise was made by Ty Warner Inc., which he only created a limited number of each Beanie Baby.

You can see on eBay that some Beanie Babies are being sold for thousands of dollars. For example, the 1997 Princess Diana Beanie Baby is listed for $428,400 on eBay with 132 buyers watching the product before making an offer.

4. FurbyP5

 

The Furby toys that resemble an owl-like creature are still trending but took it up a notch by having LCD eyes. Back in 1998 people went crazy collecting the different kinds of Furbies that launched during that holiday season. The sale price went from $35 to about $100 on limited edition Furbies.

They did make a revival in 2005 and 2012. The latest Furby was Furby Connect, which uses Bluetooth Smart Technology to sync with compatible devices to command phrases, music and videos. Also to be updated with technology there Furbies can be synced with the Furby app on smartphone devices to play other games. Retail value: $99.

5. RazorP8

 

The fun yet can be dangerous compact folding kick scooter made its way in 2000. The original Razor scooter launched  and sold more than 5 million within six months. Razor scooters are still in style for kids with new upgrades like the new electric scooters and different versions of the original A Razor scooter.

Make sure to always wear a helmet and any additional safety guards.

Would You Ditch Netflix if They Started Showing Ads?

By: Kassidy Coleman

 
How often do you binge watch Netflix? Maybe more often than you’d like to admit? It’s okay, we already know that Netflix is one of the more popular subscription streaming video services. But there’s something you may or may not have noticed recently: Netflix prices have been rising while their catalog has been shrinking. In fact, the U.S. catalog for Netflix has shrunk by more than 2,500 titles in less than 2 1/2 years. There’s no question – Netflix is changing.

If you’re wondering why Netflix is changing, think about it for a second. Netflix used to be THE subscription video streaming service, there was absolutely no competition. Now Netflix actually has direct competitors like Hulu and Amazon who could be to blame for the changes. Before, Netflix didn’t have to worry too much about competitors because Netflix had a large catalog to browse and was completely ad free. It’s becoming apparent that Netflix is starting to get a little hurt by its competitors.

If Netflix showed ads it would increase their revenue without having to increase the prices for customers. Would you want to deal with ads on Netflix? According to AllFlicks, most Netflix customers would prefer what’s pretty much impossible – no ads, cost as little as possible, and of course have a catalog full of content.

AllFlicks asked 1,200 people on Reddit if they would rather pay more for Netflix or see advertisements while they watched videos. Over 90% of the participants stated they would prefer to pay more than see ads.

Good thing these findings line up closely to what Netflix found – they opted to increase the price slightly instead of having ads. AllFlicks also discovered that many users would ditch the streaming service completely if they started to show ads. 74% of participants agreed that they would say goodbye to Netflix if they started to show ads. Some participants were so upset by just the idea of Netflix showing ads that they used profanity.

Would you leave Netflix if they started to show ads? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

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