Entertainment Reviews

31

Have you ever thought "my wireless earphones are just too big?" Have you ever thought "man, I wish my headphones told me their battery life whenever I switched them on?" Have you ever thought "I wish I could listen to all my music through one earphone, so I don't need to wear both?" Apple's new AirPods solve a lot of these problems. Problems I'm not entirely sure needed to be solved, but problems nonetheless.

0

We've seen some incredible TVs at CES this year: Stunning screens that practically melt your eyeballs. But the real stars of the show haven't been the displays. Instead, the TVs are remarkable for their designs. The coolest TVs of CES 2017 pulled all the guts of the TV out of the display hardware, and in the process effectively completed the modern television's transition to a giant arse computer monitor.

5

Assassin's Creed isn't the movie that's going to break the string of terrible cinematic experiences based on video games. Way too much of the movie feels like a big-budget advertisement and its attempts to play its dramatic tension straight-faced made me snicker loudly at the screening I went to. It could've been a slyly, self-aware modern day B-movie but it devotes its energy to the wrong stuff.

26

When they were first announced in September, it was obvious that AirPods were Apple's attempt to distract everyone from the iPhone's lack of a headphone jack. At $229 in Australia, AirPods are Apple's version of truly wireless earphones, a gadget lots of companies have been trying to perfect with varying degrees of success. No one disagrees that wireless is the future, the big question is what company will finally manage to make a truly wireless earbud that is comfortable, affordable, and worth using over more traditional wireless headphones. After two months of delays, AirPods are finally shipping.

9

Google's latest Chromecast dongle comes in at twice the cost of its predecessor. But for that price, it supports 4K video, and high dynamic range video. Using your phone as a remote control, it can wirelessly stream the best quality video possible from Netflix, YouTube, Stan and a host of other Google Cast apps. Is its $99 price worthwhile over the existing $59 Chromecast, though?

37

Rogue One is the first post-Disney theatrically released Star Wars movie to stand alone in the franchise, and it has a lot of weight resting on its shoulders because of that. Immediately (like, literally immediately) preceding the events of A New Hope, it follows a ragtag bunch of misfits on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. We've all watched the film here at Giz, so here are our wildly varying thoughts and opinions.

Warning: spoilers ahead!

4

The most moving moments in the history of Star Wars are always the darkest. The end of The Empire Strike Back and the deaths of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda are a few examples on a much longer list. Thankfully, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story understands that and more. It's a movie that nails what it means to be Star Wars in seemingly every way, and it's not afraid to scare the bejeezus out of a few kids to get there.

7

Normally when reviewing a movie, you come up with a healthy mix of positive and negative things to say about it. In the case of Disney's Moana, though, I'm really struggling to come up with the latter. It's just that wonderful.

2

There are few things more impressive than the imagination of J.K. Rowling, and it's on full display in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Harry Potter author-turned-screenwriter has begun an exciting new chapter in her wizarding world, set 70 years before the Potter story starts (and in America!), and it very nearly reaches the heights of those stories.

7

Beats' new headphones are Bluetooth, but better. You don't even have to touch your phone to pair them, battery life is twice as long as previous generation. And they're Beats, so if you buy them then you're instantly the coolest guy in the room. But what do they actually sound like?

4

Once in a while, a company takes all the good bits from its previous products and puts them together in a new one, one that hits the mark just right. Sony's newest headphones have all the noise-cancelling smarts of older MDR-series headsets, add a bunch of genuinely useful extras, and bring the fight to Bose's best QuietComforts with superior sound quality both wired and wireless.

2

I am listening to music at all times. Always. I've missed whole memos of verbal information and dodged countless potentially life-changing conversations. I've been the guy in a bar with headphones on. And carrying me through this blissful solitude was a pair of indestructible $10 corded earbuds that I knew to sound only kind of good. Wireless earbuds usually market themselves towards the sporty, sweat-prone types, and I'd yet to find a pair that could also help me tune out the world 24 hours a day. That's still not the case, but the Jaybird X3 comes pretty damn close.