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Wachowski hits come to VIDI

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Lana and Andy Wachowski’s movies are now available on VIDI. The movies include include The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta, Speed Racer and their most recent blockbuster – Jupiter Ascending.

The Wachowskis made their directing debut in 1996 with Bound, and reached fame with their second film The Matrix in 1999, for which they won multiple awards and much critical acclaim. They wrote and directed its two sequels – The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – both in 2003.

All three films star Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss and have been added to the already extensive VIDI library.  A complex story, the series tells of Thomas Anderson, a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo who finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity has been captured by a race of machines that live off the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programmes devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.

Following the commercial success of the Matrix series, the siblings wrote and produced the 2006 film V for Vendetta, which is currently available on VIDI. The film stars Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Hugo Weaving (a Matrix regular) and tells the story of Evey Hammond and her unlikely but instrumental part in bringing down the fascist government that has taken control of a futuristic Britain. Saved from a life-and-death situation by a man in a Guy Fawkes mask who calls himself V, she learns a general summary of V’s past and decides to help him bring down those who committed the atrocities that led to Britain being in the shape that it is in. The film was directed by Wachowski collaborator James McTeigue and its controversial storyline and themes were the target of both criticism and praise from socio-political groups. It was released in 2006 and was a critical and commercial success.

The Wachowskis returned to directing with 2008’s Speed Racer, an adaptation of a Japanese manga series from the 1950s. Upon release the movie was considered a critical and commercial disappointment even though its special effects were noted as outstanding. However, in more recent years, critics have put the film on their lists of underrated or cult films.

The story begins with a young man with natural racing instincts whose goal is to win the Crucible, a cross-country car racing rally that took the life of his older brother. But along the way he uncovers a secret that top corporate interests are fixing races and cheating to gain profit. So he sets about seeking to rescue his family’s business and the racing sport itself.  The film stars Emile Hirsch and Matthew Fox (Lost) and Susan Sarandon and is available on VIDI from June 11.

The Wachowski’s latest film, Jupiter Ascending, was released in cinemas in February 2015.  An original science fiction screenplay they wrote, the movie features an all star cast that includes Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones).

Kunis plays Jupiter Jones who was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, she dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine Wise (Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along – her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

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Arts and Entertainment

IFA: Samsung unveils 8K TV

During its press conference at IFA 2018 this week, Samsung Electronics announced its foray into 8K with the unveiling of the Q900FN QLED 8K TV in an 85” size. Samsung says it features all the benefits of Samsung’s flagship QLED line and several enhancements that bring 8K-quality images to life.

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“At Samsung, we’ve worked well over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of the Q900FN with 8K AI Upscaling is an integral component as we look to the future of displays,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We’re thrilled to introduce the Q900FN to consumers and are confident that they will experience nothing short of brilliance in colour, clarity and sound from our new 8K-capable models.”

To achieve 8K-quality images, the Samsung Q900FN features Real 8K Resolution and is capable of 4,000 nit peak brightness, a standard employed by many Hollywood studios. This feature allows the Q900FN to produce four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV. Q HDR 8K, powered by HDR10+ technology, optimises the TV’s brightness levels and delivers the visual experience intended by creators. The Q900FN has already received the official HDR10+ logo certification.

Samsung’s proprietary AI-powered 8K Upscaling technology enhances lower resolution content to 8K quality. Whether a viewer is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile mirroring, the 8K Quantum Processor recognises and upscales the content to appear in 8K quality. In addition, the Q900FN features Direct Full Array Elite for enhanced contrast and precise backlighting control, and as with all of our QLED models, it delivers 100% colour Volume so viewers can experience billions of shades of colour for the purest colour accuracy available to date.

The Q900FN features a slate of new functions that enable consumers to get the most from their TV, while maintaining the highest quality in picture and sound. For example, the TV recognises and analyses a number of connected entertainment devices like audio devices connected via optical cable with the One Remote, then automatically switches the TV’s image source and audio output for an optimised viewing experience. Lifestyle features, such as Ambient Mode, have been enhanced to seamlessly blend the TV in the surrounding space and by showcasing beautiful images, weather, news and more on the screen. The One Invisible Connection, which comes standard at five meters and is also available in 15 meters, incorporates the optical cable and power into one thin cord, giving users more freedom to decide where and how they place the TV. Smart enhancements, such as SmartThings, further simplify the connected living experience, and the Universal Guide provides personalised recommendations to easily find live and OTT content on TV.

Samsung will showcase its latest television and audio announcements in its booth at IFA, located at the City Cube Berlin on Level 2.

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Arts and Entertainment

NAG LAN returns to rAge

The NAG LAN is back at rAge this October, and tickets are on sale both online and at Computicket outlets.

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As SA’s most popular LAN, tickets to the NAG LAN are expected to sell out mega fast, and this year – as promised – the organisers are delivering an even more awesome event and experience!

“For the first time ever, gamers will be able to pre-select their preferred experience in three dedicated LAN areas when purchasing their tickets.  Two of the areas will be fully carpeted, one area will have padded chairs, and two areas will be quieter and more secluded from the noisy expo show floor, ensuring that the NAG LAN experience is more tailored to everyone’s individual tastes and levels of comfort,” says Michael James, Owner and Project Manager at rAge.

In addition to this, gamers will now be able to take forty winks at, next to or underneath their tables and will not be disturbed by security.

More good news is that the changes to the NAG LAN also mean a bigger rAge show floor, making for a more interactive and spacious visitor experience, with more exhibitions and activities on offer this year.

The NAG LAN is Southern Africa’s largest BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer/Console) LAN event. Gamers from all over South Africa will travel to rAge with their gaming rigs, laptops and consoles, where they’ll then game for 52 solid hours!  2018 sees big name sponsors on board to ensure an impressive experience. Nutanix is sponsoring the servers, with Aruba supplying the switches and MWEB Fibre ensuring broadband connectivity.

“Not only is rAge a must-attend event in the calendar for gamers, but it also brings together a host of young talent who may well pursue a future in software development or IT. The sponsorship, and provision of the server architecture for the LAN, provides us with the perfect platform to showcase Nutanix as a next-generation platform for who we believe will be the future IT leaders of our digital economy,” states Paul Ruinaard, country manager Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix. “Furthermore, we have architected the NAG LAN platform to run virtualization for a high-volume traffic environment, a step away from the bare-metal architecture they have used in the past. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits this yields for the gamers in a live environment.”

This year’s NAG LAN will prove to be an unforgettable experience for any gamer wanting to spend a weekend filled with meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones, as well as non-stop gaming 24/7.

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