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Tim Cook celebrates Independence Day with Franklin Roosevelt quote


Tim Cook
Tim Cook wishes everyone a happy July 4.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

It’s July 4, a.k.a. Independence Day — and to mark the occasion Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken to Twitter with a message wishing everyone a happy holiday.

“Wishing everyone a happy #Independence Day!” he writes. He also includes a quote from former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, taken from a speech Roosevelt gave in Washington D.C. on April 21, 1938: “Remember always that all of us … are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

8 great movies that would make even better TV shows



From the news that Sam Raimi is bringing a version of The Evil Dead to televisions everywhere next year (yes, it will star Bruce Campbell) to the arrival of shows like Hannibal, Fargo and From Dusk Til Dawn, movies-turned-TV shows are everywhere nowadays.

But while all four of those shows fill us with varying amounts of glee, there are still plenty of films that would work just as well — if not better — on the small screen. With that in mind, here is our guide to the top eight movies that would make fantastic TV shows.

Hollywood, you can thank us later!

Photo: Bruce Campbell in the Evil Dead trilogy, New Line Cinema

Quentin Tarantino doesn’t just direct movies; he creates universes. Perfect, then, for one of his stories to be spun off as its own TV show -- with space to explore the various characters' backstories without having to worry about compressing them into movie length. To date, Kill Bill is the only two-part movie QT has directed, but it would work equally well as its own TV show.

There are plenty of possibilities for a plot -- ranging from retelling the Bride’s “roaring rampage of revenge” in more depth, to picking up the story years later with Kiddo's daughter. Perhaps the option that most appeals to me, though, is a flashback to the heyday of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (or DeVAS), with Bill acting as their mentor.

Imagine The A-Team written by the brains behind Pulp Fiction. Would you mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash that delicious thought down?

Photo: Miramax

Independence Day is, for most fans, something of a guilty pleasure. But underneath the popcorn-crunching action and mass destruction is an intriguing concept: what would happen if giant spaceships the size of cities really did suddenly show up around the world?

A TV show could take its time exploring this event: from the different ways it was doubtless be spun by the media, to the response of different countries around the world. Season one could establish characters and end with the near-annihilation we’d all be expecting from the beginning. Season two could show how the world responds to the devastation. Color me intrigued.

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Zack Snyder did his utmost to adapt Alan Moore’s masterpiece graphic novel into a movie back in 2009. It worked okay, but the real problem was the sheer amount of backstory he had to compress into 162 minutes.

The result was a spectacular-looking mess, which disappointed fans of the comic, and confused everyone else. A 12-part miniseries would be a far better option — and one that would truly allow the director to fully explore the alternate history plotline that made Moore’s comic series feel so realistic.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

The cautionary tale of two-bit thug Tony Montana’s rise from dishwasher to drug kingpin is a well known one. But think of the added depth that would be possible were the same world explored through a TV show. Not only could we explore more of Montana’s backstory and delve into his fractured family dynamics in more detail, the show could also tell the story of the supporting characters in Tony’s life.

Scarface hints at rival groups like the Diaz Brothers, but we never see or hear from them. Plus, how great would it be to find out more about Bolivian gangster Alejandro Sosa, Montana’s beleaguered bank manager, and the city’s police force as they fight corruption to build a case against Montana?

All of this alongside a rocking 1980s soundtrack. Seriously, could there be a better show?

Photo: Universal Pictures

As a massive comic book fan, to me no single run has ever matched Stan Lee’s first 100 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man: a pitch-perfect superhero story set against a sprawling soap opera high school epic. While Batman and Superman are all about the heroes, Spider-Man is almost more fun when it’s just about Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn, Flash Thompson and co.

Seeing as we’re in the middle of the second Spider-Man movie series in a decade, the chances of a TV do-over are slim to none. But it would be perfect if it ever happened. Like the X-Men, Spider-Man’s simply a character who works better in episodic adventures.

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Now don’t get me wrong: with the eight Harry Potter movies adding up around 20 hours of screen time, J.K. Rowling’s wizarding epic is pretty much a multi-season TV show in its own right. Minor quibbles aside, the movies were fantastic, too, so what could a TV show add? How about more concerning the "mundanities” of daily life at Hogwarts? The show could even be set in a pre- or post-Harry world, focused on a different group of students as they hone their craft.

Picture your favorite teen high school drama, and then add Quidditch. Showus Greenlighticus!

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Brick was the debut movie from Looper’s Rian Johnson. A hardboiled detective story set in a California high school, the movie was practically a cult classic the moment it arrived on screens. As great as the movie is, however, the conceit behind it could be stretched so much further in a series. The long-running Sin City comics demonstrate how much mileage there is in the various film noir archetypes. With the right plot and cast this could seriously be the next True Detective.

Photo: Focus Features

My first thought here was Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, but The Sopranos already did an untoppable TV take on the day-to-day life of the street level gangster. What better, then, than to retell the story of Casino, Scorsese’s 1995 follow-up detailing the true story of a top gambling handicapper recruited by the Italian Mob to oversee the day-to-day running of a Las Vegas casino.

Original author Nicholas Pileggi was great at great at pulling out the kind of juicy details that made it feel as though you were watching a documentary rather than a true crime movie. To be honest, even if you left out the gangster details (not that we’re advising that), a series about the behind-the-scenes workings of a top casino would be well worth a watch.

We just wonder if the producers could find anyone approaching a Joe Pesci in volatility?

Photo: Universal Pictures

9 sci-fi movie blockbusters begging for sequels



Sometimes a movie's so good that you walk out of it begging to see the story picked up in a sequel. While Hollywood's sometimes guilty of churning out tired follow-ups that make us forget what we loved about the original film, that's certainly not a universal rule.

With that in mind, here's our list of the 9 sci-fi movie blockbusters we'd love to see sequels to. Scroll through our gallery to find out which flicks made the cut.

Photo: Columbia Pictures

There have been reports of a sequel to this 1996 aliens-invade-the-world blockbuster going back years. Roland Emmerich even has a cutesy name for it: ID4-EVER. But will we actually see it? Amidst plenty of conflicting reports it’s still looking like a toss-up, although it would be great fun were it to happen.

Taking place two decades after the original alien invasion, this sequel could be a fun bit of speculative sci-fi about how the world would react in the aftermath of interstellar beings arriving to blow us all up. The original’s special effects still stand up today, but there’s no doubt that 2014-era CGI could help take everything to the next level.

Photo: 20th Century Fox

When people talk about M. Night Shyamalan’s precipitous decline after The Sixth Sense, they’re forgetting the greatness that was 2000’s Unbreakable, a real-world take on the superhero movie about an ordinary joe (played by Bruce Willis) who discovers he’s endowed with unparalleled strength and healing abilities.

The movie ends (SPOILER ALERT!) with Willis having a sense of where he fits into the universe, his apparent friend Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) having revealed his true colors, and the stage set for a colossal showdown. Trouble is, it never happened. But we’d love to see it if it did.

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

Telling the story of a young man capable of teleportation, 2008’s Jumper wasn’t blessed with the best critical reviews, although it nonetheless carved out a good chunk of profits at the box office. While the original, based on a 1992 sci-fi novel by Steven Gould, definitely had its fair share of problems, it was still an intriguing premise — and seemed to hint at a possible franchise we’ll apparently now never see.

20th Century Fox

The messy way to make fruit salad. Photo: Columbia Pictures

What’s this about a sequel for RoboCop? No, you’re not reading an article from 1989 — we’re referring to a follow-up to the much-better-than-everyone-thought-it-would-be 2014 reboot. Star Joel Kinnaman had a sequel option in his contract, and it’s one that I’d dearly love to see the studio take him up on. Which is something I never thought I’d say before watching the reboot. Let’s just hope they don’t descend into the kid-friendly buffoonery of the original series’ sequels.

Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Columbia Pictures

During a Reddit AMA event, Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro recently acknowledged that a Hellboy III is unlikely to happen on the basis that no studio wants to front him the cash to make it. While neither Hellboy nor Hellboy 2 set the box office on fire (no pun intended), they were still great adaptations of Mike Mignola’s cult comic book, and truly felt like they were aimed at fans. While there’s definitely a line of thought that says the not all-that-prolific del Toro shouldn’t be wasting his time with a sequel, it would still be awesome to see the Hellboy trilogy finished off in style.

“The [first] two movies were really set up to have this unbelievable resolve,” star Ron Perlman has said. "Everything that was done in both movies was leading up to this destiny, written in stone, of what Hellboy has been summoned to Earth to do. To not do it, particularly in light of the scope that Guillermo is thinking of for the resolve, would be in my mind a little bit of a shame.” Not just in your mind, Ron: a lot of us want to see the story brought to its satisfactory conclusion.

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Starring William H. Macy, Ben Stiller, and Hank Azaria as a group of less-than-impressive superheroes, 1999’s Mystery Men was sort of the anti-Avengers in style. With characters like Mr. Furious, The Shoveler and The Blue Raja, it was nonetheless a pitch-perfect send-up of the superhero genre — and that would be more relevant than ever here in 2014. In a world where no-name heroes like Guardians of the Galaxy can become box office smashes, it’s definitely time for a reunion of the heroes of Champion City.

Photo: Universal Pictures

One of the best action flicks of 2012, Dredd sadly proved a flop at the box office, signalling the second time Judge Dredd has failed to make much of an impact on movie audiences. Who knows why, though, because this version of the futuristic lawman was every bit as grim and gritty as the successful comic it’s based on. With 40 years worth of stories to pick from, it would be great to see the Mega-City One universe expanded with a sequel or nine.

Photo: Lionsgate

There was an ecologically-themed sequel to Ted Hughes’ original short story, The Iron Man called The Iron Woman, but as of yet it’s not been turned into a movie. 1999’s The Iron Giant was a colossal box office bomb but a critical darling. In the years since, it’s gone on to become a cult classic, while post-Pixar movie studios have gotten increasingly comfortable with the idea of smart family movies.

With director Brad Bird now being one of Pixar’s go-to directors, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t want to return to Warner Bros. to make a sequel to a film that was so badly mistreated the first time around, but we’d love to watch it if he did.

Photo: Warner Bros.

iOS Games From Sega, Capcom, Warner Bros. & More Reduced For July 4 [Deals]


iOS game developers are slashing prices for Independence Day.
iOS game developers are slashing prices for Independence Day.

Following the start of EA’s iOS sale yesterday, which has seen popular titles like FIFA 12, Dead Space, and Need for Speed reduced to just $0.99, other iOS developers are now throwing their hats into the ring. We got a list of titles from Sega, Capcom, Warner Bros. and more that are now on sale for July 4. Come and get ’em while they’re cheap.

iOS Games Gone Cheap: EA Slashes Prices For July 4 [Deals]


Grab 'em while they're cheap.
Grab 'em while they're cheap.

As we all know, iOS developers just love an excuse to slash their prices, and EA is the first to show its celebrations for Independence Day. The company has discounted a stack of popular titles — including FIFA 12, Dead Space, and Mass Effect Infiltrator — to just $0.99 to ensure you stay busy before the fireworks start.

Here’s the full list.

How To Take Awesome Fireworks Photos With Your iPhone This July 4


A few simple tips that will help you take better firework photos on your iPhone this Independence Day.
A few simple tips that will help you take better firework photos on your iPhone this Independence Day.

Apple’s latest iPhones take some pretty incredible images during the day, but it’s a different story when the sun goes down. Despite its LED flash, the iPhone’s performance in low-light still needs significant improvement. But if you’ve already abandoned a dedicated point-and-shoot, and you were hoping to snap some images at the firework display this July 4, here are some tips for taking great firework photos on your iPhone.