I got a pic with Patrick Stewart. He was thrilled.
This week: Why Apple Watch will win the wrist war, we snap a pic with Patrick Stewart but he’s not amused, the good and bad of a George Lucas-free Star Wars 7, Microsoft’s new HoloLens looks incredible, and we reveal some of our favorite apps and gear on an all-new Under Review.
Our thanks to Automatic for supporting this episode. Plug Automatic into your car’s data port, and their beautiful app will show you where you parked, learn how to save fuel with tips based on your actual driving, and even diagnose and turn off your car’s check engine light.
Apple's forthcoming Campus 2 is set to become Silicon Valley's most envy-inducing headquarters: the kind of futuristic home base that belongs in a James Bond movie.
With work progressing nicely, en route to a 2016 opening, we thought the time was right to look at some of the (fictional) headquarters it will be competing against for title of best secret lair of all time.
Scroll through our gallery to take a look at some of our other picks. You never know when Tim Cook will decide to incorporate an underground cave or shark tank into Apple's new home...
The James Bond movies have given us plenty of memorable headquarters over the years — mostly belonging to supervillains. While the most famous one is probably Blofeld's hollowed-out volcano lair from You Once Live Twice, I’ve always been partial to Karl Stromberg’s underwater hideaway Atlantis, from Roger Moore’s best Bond entry, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Not only can the self-sufficient HQ rise to the ocean’s surface or dive below it to suit requirements, but it’s also got four helipads, plenty of luxury dining space, and a shark tank for getting rid of those pesky guests who overstay their welcome.
The Batcave is probably the most iconic superhero lair of all time, and has undergone plenty of different interpretations since first appearing in an episode of the 1943 Batman movie serial entitled “The Bat’s Cave.”
Which version scores a place on this list? Multiple versions stand out, although my personal favorite remains the one from the 1966 Batman TV show, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Quick Robin, to the Batpoles!
Bruce Wayne’s Batcave may have an undisputed place on this list, but as mansions go, Wayne Manor can’t hold a candle to the X-Men’s Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. Also known as the X-Mansion and Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, this Westchester County, New York manor house has been in the Xavier family for generations.
Today it is both the headquarters and training ground for current and future X-Men: the only learning establishment where your teachers are likely to include Wolverine and Nightcrawler.
If I could pick one location on this list to claim as my own, it would be Tracy Island from the classic Gerry Anderson 1960s TV series, Thunderbirds. The secret headquarters of International Rescue, the palmtree-lined tropical island hideaway looked like the best holiday resort ever — and that was before you caught a glimpse of the giant rocket hidden under the swimming pool.
Marvel Comics has always been great at cranking out the kind of superhero headquarters that would have other comic characters turning green with envy. Given the celebrity status of its inhabitants, The Fantastic Four, the Baxter Building is the antithesis of a secret lair. Located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City, the top five floors of the 35-story tower block are used to house the Fantastic Four’s headquarters.
With everything from extensive lab space, to rocket launch sites, to art deco relaxation areas, it’s the Google HQ that Google never had.
Sure, Dexter's Laboratory was a kid’s cartoon, but is there anyone out there who didn’t dream of having a fully equipped high tech lab hidden at the back of their bedroom? From shrink rays and super intelligence caps, to crime-fighting canine androids and giant robots, Dexter built all this and more with a seemingly endless budget and more floor space than Jeff Bezos can dream of. The kitsch, retro vibe just serves to make this lair all the better.
Could have done with improved anti-sister locks on the doors, though.
Austin Powers’ arch-nemesis Dr. Evil gets a place on this list for the sheer variety of his evil lairs over the years. At various times occupying a lunar base, personalized sub, Blofeld-style extinct volcano, and sinister HQ hidden behind the Hollywood sign, Dr. Evil’s constantly-rotating assortment of villainous HQs no doubt made some architects and contract builders very, very rich indeed. Before they were unceremoniously offed for failing to provide sharks with laser beams on their heads.
A possible allusion to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, Dr. Manhattan’s mechanical cathedral on Mars is not only one of the most brain-searingly unforgettable images in Watchmen, a comic that is never anything less than memorable — it’s one of the most stunning hideaways seen anywhere. It might be a visual representation of Dr. Manhattan’s melancholy and loneliness, but it’s also a dope crib, yo!
How do you create a list like this without paying homage to Star Wars’ iconic Death Star? The mother of all evil lairs, this Empire production looks the kind of thing that Google would be sure to build were it ever to expand its headquarters into space.
Not only is it as sleekly minimalist as the best Apple product, it possesses planet-obliterating power that is nothing short of extraordinary. That easily-destructible exhaust shaft though? How it made it past quality control I will never know!
If Wes Anderson was making The Force Awakens, the trailer might look a lot like this. Video Frame: Jonah Feingold/YouTube
We’ll admit it: we were all squeeing like fanboys when we saw the official trailer for the upcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We may have watched it quite a bit more than once, but the YouTubers below have taken their fandom to another level, with some really well crafted remixes of the official short film.
Check out trailers below starring the cast of (and scenes directly from) the original trilogy, the trailer as Wes Anderson would do it, and a bizarre rendering of it all with pets in place of human actors. Oh, and there’s also the obligatory Lego version, as well, so be sure to scroll all the way down.
JJ Abrams finally gives us names for the face of the new Star Wars. Photo: Lucasfilms
The first trailer for Star Wars episode VII has us tingling with anticipation for the The Force Awakens’ release next year. We still don’t really know what’s going on in movie that take places 30 years after the last Death Star blew, but JJ Abrams has finally given us some names to put with the new faces.
Some of the character names for the new Star Wars heroes and villains were revealed today by Entertainment Weekly with the release of eight throwback Topps trading cards that were popular when the original Star Wars came out in 1977. The name of the new Sith lord is being kept a secret, but at least we don’t have to call that cute rolling robot a “ball droid” anymore.
With the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer hitting everywhere this weekend, anticipation for the new movie — and thirst for all the details and rumors we can handle — is at an all time high. What are the story details? Who are the characters in the trailer? What about all the original cast members?
Set 30 years after The Battle of Endor (seen in 1983's The Return of the Jedi), The Force Awakens is directed by hotshot and super Star Wars fan J.J. Abrams, fresh off his success with the Star Trek franchise. If the trailer is anything to go by, the new films are in fantastic hands. What the final product will be is any fan’s guess, so here are seven crazy rumors about the details coming to the films next December.
Andy Serkis narrates the trailer and will play two different roles in the film
According to Jedi News, Andy Serkis is the narrator of the new trailer. He'll also play more than one role in the film. One role may be motion-captured as Serkis has been in many movies like King Kong and as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films, as one of a group of super acrobatic creatures. The other role has Serkis's character involved in some way with the young lady in the trailer, Daisy Ridley. This character will have a pivotal role that could have more to it than it seems. Like Obi Wan and Luke Skywalker, perhaps?
The rumor here is that Attack the Block star Boyega will be the audience viewpoint character, much like Luke Skywalker was in the original films and Anakin was (less successfully, perhaps) in the prequel trilogy. Latino Review goes even a step farther saying that Boyega may not initially be a Jedi, but might become one under the tutelage of none other than Skywalker himself.
In a somewhat conflicting rumor, Collider says that the twin children of Han Solo and Leia Organa may in fact be the lead characters in the upcoming film. Named Jacen and Jaina, the two might be powerful Force-sensitives who receive training from Uncle Luke, but go their own ways when Jacen takes to the Dark Side. File this one under "not likely, but fun."
Daisey Ridley may be playing Han and Leia's daughter
The determined-looking young lady on the improbably designed speeder vehicle in the trailer is none other than Daisey Ridley, a relatively unknown British actress. Speculation is that her character will be the daughter of Han and Leia, Kira, who will meet up with Boyega's character and help him find Luke. CBS News puts her between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in a publicity shot to lend some weight to this rumor.
According to TheForce.net, everyone's favorite smuggler with a heart of gold will put on the Stormtrooper armor again in The Force Awakens in a nice nod to the original trilogy. In A New Hope, Han and Luke both don Stormtrooper outfits to gain access to the Death Star prison hold and free Princess Leia, fresh from her viewing of her home planet being vaporized by the moon-sized super weapon. Here’s hoping Solo wearing the armor again won’t turn into a fourth-wall breaking corn-fest, but it’ll be fun to see him wearing the whites one last time.
Ralph McQuarrie's designs live on, especially in the little soccer-ball droid we get to see partway through the trailer, bloop-bleeping like R2-D2. It's rumored that this new comic relief is, in fact, another R-series droid, as fan site Jalopnik thinks, placing this cute little fellow as an astromech droid, as opposed to the humanoid droids and the non-barrel bodied mechanical creatures.
In a bit of wild speculation, Making Star Wars thinks some leaked concept art of the scary cyborg character staring at an old Vader helmet is actually Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the original three movies, who ended up defeating Darth Vader while using the light side of the Force. Who knows, it might be true - the cloak is similar to the one Mark Hamill wore in The Return of the Jedi, and the mouth could be Hamill's, and that robotic hand is also the correct one for the Luke character.
The McConaissance continues as Matthew McConaughey stars in Chris Nolan’s Interstellar. Photo: Legendary Pictures
Like many movie fans out there I couldn’t be more excited about the release of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a spectacular-looking space epic from one of the greatest filmmakers working today. While I’m not going to get to see it until this weekend, its release gave me reason to revisit some of the best movie space epics in history — and dwell on a few of the worst, too.
Are you ready for a guide to both the best and worst the galaxy has to offer? Check out our picks after the hyper jump:
Thanks to larger budgets, improved graphics, and more pop-culture respectability, video games are catching up with movies in the blockbuster stakes. However, while we’re closer than ever to the merger of cinema and video games, movie tie-ins can often leave a bad taste in your mouth.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the arrival of some truly superb new titles based on classic movies, we thought it was high time that we scraped through our gaming archives to find the games of the movies which truly did justice to their big screen counterparts.
With that in mind, trawl through our gallery to see the best movie video game adaptations of all time… and the worst.
Any gamers who prefer Ridley Scott’s 1979 original movie over James Cameron’s action-packed sequel have, at some point, likely thought about how great a survival horror game based on the Alien franchise would be. Alien Isolation is that game. Right down to the authentic sound cues and retro-future look, it captures everything that made the original Alien so terrifying.
Forget hordes of aliens running blindly into your path as with the awful Aliens: Colonial Marines. Here, it’s just one alien, a handful of survivors, and some very big scares. Superb!
The only arcade game on the list (although it was later ported to home consoles), this title was a childhood favorite of mine.
A gun-based game, it managed a spectacular job of compressing the movie’s best set pieces into a frantic shoot-‘em-up. The graphics may, unsurprisingly, have aged over 20 years, but Terminator 2: Judgment Day still impresses in this capacity — largely due to the scanned sprites used. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick, and Eddie Furlong all reprised their roles for title, which adds an extra bit of authenticity. This remains the best Terminator game of all time.
Set two years after Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters: The Video Game was described as franchise creator Dan Aykroyd as “essentially the third movie.” He’s not lying either. In addition to using ideas originally designed for the never-made third film, Ghostbusters: The Video Game features a cast reunion including Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson — along with supporting characters like Max von Sydow as Vigo the Carpathian.
The gameplay is pretty outstanding too, with the ghost-trapping feature really putting you in the shoes of everyone’s favorite ghost hunters.
Not to be confused with the mediocre game that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the adaptation of Sam Raimi’s 2004 sequel was everything you could want in a Spider-Man title. Essentially acting as Grand Theft Spidey, the title gave gamers a fully-realized Manhattan to swing and run around — letting everyone's favorite Wall Crawler explore everything a fully realized NYC, down to the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park.
Frankly, it was a dazzling achievement for its time and remains impressive today: following the plot of the movie, but also opening up the world to be more than just a playable version of the scenes you’ve already watched on the big screen.
Even in an age of far more advanced First Person Shooters, GoldenEye 007 remains one of my favorites of all time; not just a great movie adaptation, but an almost perfect video game in its own right.
Level designs are varied, controls are great, and the number of unlockables ups replayability considerably. Oh, and it’s got one of the most fun multiplayer modes ever. Xbox Live and PlayStation Network might have taken this idea and run with it, but there was something unmatchably amazing about packing your friends around the same TV for some splitscreen death match fun.
Yes, that snot-green pixel block is indeed supposed to be loveable alien E.T!
Like GoldenEye 007, E.T.’s appearance on this list was inevitable — albeit for very different reasons. While GoldenEye stands as a benchmark for everything video games based on movies can get right, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an ode to all that can go wrong. Granted, it came out in 1982, when video games were still in their infancy, but that’s no excuse for something which feels this lazy, broken, and mindless.
Critics at the time hated it, and it’s now widely considered the worst video game ever made. To underline the point, Atari made way too many copies of the game, and wound up burying most of them in a New Mexico landfill site. True story.
City of Angels was a lame movie sequel to a flawless original, so it stands to reason that its video game adaptation would suck, too. However, it’s also the only official The Crow video game there’s ever been, so whether you’re a fan of the original James O’Barr comics or the Brandon Lee 1994 classic, you’re going to wind up playing this ungodly Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC title from 1997 if you're dead set on playing a game version.
This is truly awful in every conceivable way — from the ugly color pallet to the repetitive bad guy sound bytes (“Hey clown face”), to the uninspired level design, shockingly bad action, and horrendous hit detection. The only thing that can be said vaguely in favor of this game is that its never-ending awfulness presumably does a good job of evoking the same horror that would accompany unwillingly being brought back from the dead.
I’m a massive Paul Verhoeven fan, and couldn’t wait to pick up this video game adaptation of his underrated 1997 film Starship Troopers, back when it arrived on PC in 2005. Following in the wake of stunningly innovative FPS titles like HλLF-LIFE and Halo: Combat Evolved, could Starship Troopers give us a compelling action recreation of the movie’s epic bug hunts, while also incorporating some of the trademark Verhoeven satire?
In a word, no. All your fellow Troopers look the same, none of them can shoot properly, and they all repeat the same dialog over and over. On top of that, the graphics are ugly as sin, the weapons are weirdly balanced, and the title is the textbook example of dumb run-and-gun actioners. Which may be some kind of meta-joke, but I doubt it.
How do you go wrong with a game about giant robots fighting huge, undersea creatures? Try repetitive missions and clunky brawling that feels like you're playing Tekken in treacle while wearing oven gloves. The mech customization features are kind of cool, but they’re not enough to save a title that could have been epic amounts of fun, and fell far short.
Missed opportunities are rife when it comes to video game adaptations of hit movies. Perhaps no more so, however, than Kinect Star Wars. Fans have been waiting for a motion control game that lets them handle a lightsaber since 1977, which is why this title was so endlessly frustrating. Rather than recreate the most memorable scenes from the movies, instead there’s a generic plot, featuring only a few of the best-known Star Wars characters — none voiced by their original actors.
Controls are inconsistent at best and downright awful at worst, and the whole thing just reeks of not giving a damn. Then, just when you think things are at their worst, you get the "Galactic Dance Off."
Because who needs a good lightsaber battle when you can have ridiculous dance-based mini games?
Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple
Was Apple’s livestreamed iPad event really such a big yawn? Search Twitter for “#AppleEvent yawn” or “Apple boring” and you’ll see tweet after tweet bemoaning the boring nature of Thursday’s press conference. It got so tedious for some, there were dozens of photos of napping dogs.
“Most boring Apple event ever,” tweeted one. “Bring back the Chinese translation.”
Maybe some of those folks are being facetious, but there’s a grain of truth in the tweets: Nothing about Thursday’s event, except for maybe Stephen Colbert’s crackup comedy bit with Craig Federighi, was super-compelling on the surface. Many of the specs had been leaked (some even by Apple itself), and the rumor mill proved pretty accurate in the run-up to the presentation.
Still, this was no Phantom Menace. I mean really, what were people expecting? Jetpacks, aliens and electric cars?
This is Apple’s big dilemma right now: How do you top yourself when you make the best products in the world?