‘The Last Knight’ needs to be the last Transformers film

It’s amazing how “Transformers” movie sequels continue to roll out despite overwhelming bad reviews.

The latest in the series, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” is reportedly the last time Michael Bay will direct the series. The movie pulls out all the stops and gives you epic fight scenes featuring metal dragons, gods, knights in rusty armor, the end of the world and valiant humans doing stupid things like taking on 28-foot-tall metal robots with just guns.

The best way to appreciate the movie is to put aside all logic and understanding, and just try to enjoy the flick for what it is — popcorn munching entertainment with a hunky male lead (Mark Wahlberg) and a female lead (Laura Haddock) who sports high heels. She at least switches out of them, unlike Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) in “Jurassic World.” 

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A Transformer dragon? What’s next? Dinosaurs? Oh wait.


Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bay F

“Transformers: The Last Knight” could have been so much better. The nonstop pace of the 2 1/2-hour movie stretches out the action, leaving you little time to catch your breath. The slight pauses in action where the characters spend time with each other prove the movie had potential, but it was thoroughly wasted.

The first two acts build up the plot and the world nicely. Everything pretty much makes sense. Then it all goes to hell in the finale. Bay decides to toss logic out the window, with unexplained set pieces used to resolve matters. It’s like Bay threw out the original script and replaced it with a new one that didn’t quite share the same plot.

It’s silly that I’m complaining. The exact same thing happens in almost all of the previous “Transformers” movies. I should know better by now.

If you decide to check out the movie anyway, watch it for Anthony Hopkins. Unlike his elder statesman characters in “Westworld” and “Thor,” Hopkins doesn’t appear to just be doing this for a paycheck. He’s having way too much fun flipping the bird, cackling in mad glee or playing it up for laughs as Sir Edmund Burton, keeper of Transformer history. It’s such a change of pace for him, and when he’s onscreen, the movie is watchable. 

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Anthony Hopkins plays Sir Edmund Burton, alongside Hot Rod, in “Transformers: The Last Knight.”


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Thanks to Hopkins’ performance though, the other actors don’t quite shine. Isabela Moner’s Izabella doesn’t impress, unless you like pensive shots of her looking stoic, while Haddock’s Vivian Wembley is really nothing more than eye candy.

It’s a shame the female characters don’t stand out, but then again, Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager could have skipped the movie and nothing really would have changed.

In the end, it’s robots that save the show (and the world) somewhat. Cogman, played by Jim Carter of “Downton Abbey,” is a sociopathic Transformer butler serving Hopkins’ character. Having both on screen together is quite the hoot.

The rest of the Autobots and Decepticons lurk around menacingly, while fan favorite Hot Rod finally makes his debut, though in a terribly bizarre version that bears no resemblance to his cartoon roots.

While it’s an entertaining spectacle, “Transformers: The Last Knight” drags on far too long. At least you get your money’s worth at the cinema for its incredibly long run time and CGI effects. Given the terribly obvious Chinese product placements that pop up, the movie’s likely looking to China to earn most of its box office money.

“Transformers: The Last Knight” opens in theaters on June 21 in the US and on June 22 in the UK and Australia.

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Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in “Transformers: The Last Knight.”


Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bay F

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/transformers-the-last-knight-review-michael-bay-needs-to-be-the-last/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Jaguar has a baby F-Pace on the way, and it’s called E-Pace

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Take the F-Pace and the XE, mix ’em together, and this’ll be what comes out.


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Jaguar’s naming structure is about to get a whole lot more complicated, thanks to the E-Pace, which is not the same as the I-Pace.

Just as the XF sedan and F-Pace crossover occupy the midsize range of their respective segments, the E-Pace will act as a compact counterpart to the XE sedan. Jaguar’s first teaser looks at the rear end, which has some sharp lines and taillights that look like they’ve been plucked right off the XE sedan.

While the name sounds a little futuristic, it’s not to be confused with the I-Pace, the battery-electric crossover that’s still slated for production in 2018. That has not been seen in production guise just yet, whereas the E-Pace will be revealed in full on July 13.

Jaguar’s a little light on the details for now, but it says the E-Pace will launch with standard all-wheel drive and a lineup of gas engines from the modular Ingenium family, some of which are also in the F-Pace. It will start at $38,600, which is a few thousand dollars below the cheapest (diesel) F-Pace. We’ll know more when it launches in a few weeks.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace First Edition in Montenegro

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/mHpI/~3/xNaHVA5M4LU/

Amazon is the latest to offer clothes-by-mail to try on at home

With Prime Wardrobe, you can pick out a number of items, including clothes, shoes, and accessories. Once you have at least three, Amazon will send them to you and you’ll have a week to try them on and decide what you like. Whatever you don’t want, you can send back for free and you’re only charged for what you keep. If you keep at least three things, you’ll get 10 percent off; and you’ll get 20 percent off if you keep at least five.

This service is similar to popular fashion companies like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club and DailyLook Elite, which deliver a selection of items to your door. But with those, a stylist picks out what’s sent to you based on information you’ve provided about your fashion preferences. And each of those companies charge a styling fee that counts towards your purchase if you choose to buy something. Stitch Fix is on the lower end, charging $20 while DailyLook Elite’s fee is $40.

Amazon’s other fashion-centric moves could work well with this service. Once you get your items, you can use Echo Look to take a quality selfie and Amazon’s Outfit Compare to figure out which looks are more stylish. Prime Wardrobe is currently in beta, but you can get a notification when it launches.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/20/amazon-prime-wardrobe-clothes-mail/

Bots and trolls are swaying opinions on Facebook and Twitter

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Bots and trolls could be using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to mould your political views, according to a new study.


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Your political views could have been shaped by bots and trolls on Facebook and Twitter.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have become a tool for the spreading of propaganda, found a new study released Monday by the University of Oxford. The study was conducted across nine countries, including the US, China and Russia.

The report found social media to be “significant platforms for political engagement” and “crucial channels for disseminating news content” where efforts are put into swaying opinion. One example cited of the US includes using bots to give the illusion of significant online popularity so as to build real political support.

The proliferation of fake news has been a huge concern for countries around the world. The fake news phenomenon was put in the spotlight amid allegations that it helped put President Trump in the White House. Consequently, Google and Facebook launched the CrossCheck project ahead of the French elections earlier this year to verify news stories. In April, Facebook also outlined the steps it’s taking to combat alternative facts.

The most powerful way to spread propaganda involves the cooperation between “bots and trolls,” according to the study. This is most apparent in China, where the spread of propaganda over social media is “heavily coordinated.”

Germany was found to be a “leader” in the battle against the spread of fake news over social media, with regulation set to be implemented across the country by summer as well as “numerous civil society watchdog projects.”

CNET has reached out to the University for further insights.

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/bots-and-trolls-are-swaying-opinions-on-facebook-twitter-study/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Drone Racing League season two starts tomorrow on ESPN

In case you were looking for a new sport to follow now that the NBA and NHL seasons have ended, ESPN is giving something different a shot, and it’s not esports. The second season of the Drone Racing League — now branded Allianz World Championship Series — is about to get started Tuesday night at 8PM ET, with pilots directing identical Racer3 aircraft through larger courses than last year. The drones themselves are more powerful and rugged enough to possibly survive a collision, which DRL head of product Ryan Gury explained “also makes it a much more sexy and attractive drone.” Of course, if you’re spending this week tuned in to draft / free agency news, the entire broadcast schedule is included below.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/19/drone-racing-league-s2-espn/

Ikea and Apple will put virtual furniture in your living room

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At WWDC, Apple demoed how you can place virtual objects in real life settings using its AR tech.


James Martin/CNET

Don’t you hate it when you spend hours Allen-wrenching a Dyfjord only to find it doesn’t fit in your closet? Don’t you wish you could’ve seen what it would look like before you built it? That’s the power of augmented reality.

Ikea, the famous flat-pack furniture manufacturer, is working on an app that will digitally overlay true-to-size furniture using Apple’s new ARKit technology. Looking through the window of an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to see how Ikea’s furniture could look in your home before you have to buy or assemble anything.

Apple unveiled ARKit at its WWDC conference earlier this month, naming the Swedish furniture company as one of its partners, but other details were scarce. Now, thanks to an interview with Ikea digital transformation manager Michael Valdsgaard at Di Digital, we’re getting a little more information on the fruits of that partnership.

According to Valdsgaard, the app will have realistic 3D renders of 500-600 pieces of furniture upon its launch, with more items being added sporadically. Ikea also hopes to add a feature that lets you buy furniture from the app after you virtually map it out in your house.  

Just don’t be surprised if the app doesn’t have the exact rocking chair you want at launch — IKEA’s full catalog includes tens of thousands of items. 

We already knew that Apple CEO Tim Cook is a big fan of AR, calling the technology “huge” and claiming it has more potential than VR. But in order to get behind Cook’s excitement, we’ll need to see some real world applications of the technology — besides just catching Pokemon. The Ikea app, which is reportedly aiming to launch in the autumn when iOS 11 is available, could be a good example.

Ikea did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple jumps into augmented reality with developer kit

Apple launches its AR platform for iOS, making it possible for developers to build augmented-reality experiences.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/ikea-ar-app-apple-arkit-report/#ftag=CAD590a51e

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