fbpx
Connect with us

Tech

Best movies 2021: I Care a Lot, Nomadland, A Quiet Place Part 2, more

Published

on

Best movies 2021: I Care a Lot, Nomadland, A Quiet Place Part 2, more
bbabb6c1-b169-44f0-93d4-34dbb6cb0480-ical-01500-r

Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot.


Netflix/Amazon Prime

If it seems like it’s been a quiet year at the movies, then it probably has. Box office toppers F9, Godzilla vs. Kong and Black Widow helped scratch that itch for an eye-popping blockbuster, but what other movies got us talking?

For the right reasons, that is. So no The Woman in the Window on this list. The Oscars are no doubt a useful way to pluck out the movies that left lasting impressions. Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah and Minari were all released at the beginning of this year. They opened windows onto unique stories that broadened our horizons and reminded us of the transformative power of cinema.

And then there was I Care a Lot. Simply pure entertainment. Here’s CNET’s list of the best movies (released in the US) this year. (We’ll keep updating it, as there are no doubt some glaring omissions.)

Read more: Best TV shows of 2021 so far

Entertain your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.

Best movies of 2021 (so far)

I Care a Lot

http://www.cnet.com/

Netflix

Two words: Rosamund Pike. Yes, she’s doing what feels like a shade of Amy Dunne from Gone Girl. But her I Care a Lot con artist Marla Grayson is just as memorable, unashamedly stealing money from old people. I Care a Lot is inspired by real news stories of professional guardians in the US and a legal loophole they exploited. It moves at a slick pace, features characters in aviator sunglasses and a doomed anti-heroine who becomes wrapped up with larger-than-life crime lords. All movies should be this entertaining.

— Jennifer Bisset

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

http://www.cnet.com/

Netflix

Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have one of the best strike-rates in the game, particularly when it comes to animated features. The Mitchells vs. the Machines doesn’t hit the dizzy heights of, say, Into The Spiderverse but it’s almost certainly my favourite animated movie of 2021. In a year that’s already brought us Raya and the Last Dragon and Luca, that’s no mean feat. 

The directorial debut of Mike Rianda, The Mitchells vs. the Machines brings an indie aesthetic to what is essentially a kids movie. It’s a little patronizing and borders on cliche, but carries a charm and wit that barrels through your concerns with the energy and subtlety of a good old Rick Mitchell Special. It’s a rewatchable through and through, with a number of memorable set pieces and a million and one quotable lines. Get on it.

— Mark Serrels 

Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar

http://www.cnet.com/

Lionsgate

Barb and Star is the perfect movie for 2021: no think, just pastel-colored tropical absurdity. It’s also a great escapist movie for when you’re, say, stuck in lockdown in Australia and can’t really see yourself being able to sip cocktails on the beach anytime soon. Bridesmaids dream team Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo both write and star in this glorious campy acid trip as middle-aged, Middle-American women who step out of their comfort zones and go on holiday and find their sparkle– and have a threesome with Jamie Dornan. Because of course! It’s ridiculous, it’s hilarious, and there’s plenty of whacky twists that make it truly memorable. I’m sorry, but that’s all I can say without ruining too much of it. You just have to let it happen to you and you’ll have a great time. 

— Nicole Archer

Fear Street: 1994/ 1978/ 1666

http://www.cnet.com/

Netflix

I went into the Fear Street trilogy with very low expectations– and they exceeded all of them. Fear Street is based on the R.L. Stine series of the same name and are catered towards older teens rather than Goosebumps, which are more for kids. They’re fun and campy slasher movies with a surprisingly good and heartbreaking story. Of course, there’s some classic R.L. Stine twists that keep you guessing until the very end of part three. 

If you’re looking to get more into horror, or even introduce your older teens to the genre (and I mean 15/16 plus– there are some over the pants action and sex scenes which is just not fun to watch as a family) I really recommend these movies! There’s just enough fright and creep factor to leave you on the edge of your seat, but it’s still fun and silly enough to not have to hide behind a pillow the whole time. 

— Nicole Archer

In The Heights

http://www.cnet.com/

Macall Polay/Warner Bros.

I love a good musical as much as the next theater kid, but I think we can all admit that the past five or six years haven’t been the best for movie adaptations. In The Heights, however, is the one film adaptation I have recommended to people even outside the musical theater sphere — and it will wipe out the memory (so to speak) of the nightmare that was Cats

In The Heights adapts Lin Manuel Miranda’s first production and features a talented (though admittedly not as representative as it absolutely should be) cast as they experience life in Washington Heights bodega. There’s love, loss, drama, intrigue, piragua and a whole lot of stunning choreography. If you enjoyed Hamilton and you’re the type of person who finds themself bopping along to tunes, you’ll probably get a kick out of In The Heights — and yes, there’s a Lin Manuel Miranda cameo.

— Steph Panecasio

No Sudden Move

http://www.cnet.com/

HBO Max

Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Brendan Fraser and Ray Liotta doing hold-ups in hats. Joyfully tough from start to finish.  

— Richard Trenholm

CODA

http://www.cnet.com/

Apple TV Plus

This movie about the child of deaf adults has an amazing soundtrack — and it uses that music to show us about the otherness that people who are different feel as they navigate a society that doesn’t really know how to include them. Yes, I pulled out the tissues for this feel-good movie that’s also about a family coming together in a new way. 

But what so impressed me and makes this a movie I’d recommend is how writer and director Sian Heder used sound — and the lack of sound — to showcase the beauty and emotional power of music to connect with people. I’ve heard Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides, Now and You’re All I Need to Get By by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell many, many times — but I promise you, listening to how CODA serves up these songs as musical experiences is magical.

— Connie Guglielmo

Gunpowder Milkshake

http://www.cnet.com/

Netflix

Honestly, they had me at Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Angela Bassett and Lena Headey. And while this stylized action thriller, with its neon and bubble-gum palette, isn’t actually all that original, it is a whole lot of fun for those who don’t mind a whole lot of violence. 

The hero of our story is played by Karen Gillan, a likeable actor who’s mastered playing kick ass women as the grown-up Martha in Jumanji and as Nebula in Marvel’s Avengers series. She gets to build on those personas as Sam, a highly-successful assassin with a moral code that leads her to save a young girl from other hit men. Worthwhile action movies usually have at least one fight scene where you go, ‘Well, that’s crazy but cool.’ Gunpowder Milkshake delivers: Sam goes up against a whole lot of bad guys after she’s injected with a drug that temporarily paralyzes her arms. Now that’s some elegant twirling.    

— Connie Guglielmo

The Little Things

http://www.cnet.com/

Warner Bros. Pictures

My sister and I are big Rami Malek fans. When she recommended The Little Things — a crime thriller starring Malek, Denzel Washington and Jared Leto — I was more than on board. The Little Things follows Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington), disgraced former detective-turned-deputy sheriff and detective Jimmy Baxter (Malek). When Deke notices similarities in the M.O. of a recent murder and an unsolved case that still haunts him, The pair team up and begin a somewhat unorthodox investigation. Deke and Baxter home in on Albert Sparma (Leto) who taunts the detectives a la Silence of the Lambs and Zodiac. 

The actors bring a lot to the table in The Little Things — which lives up to its name in terms of plot. The contrast of Deke’s brooding, jaded character and Baxter’s professional innocence and binary view of good and evil set up heart-pounding moments with Sparma, who’s piercing stare likens to a snake ready to strike. Every moment is agitated by the volatility of 90’s LA with a jaw-dropping conclusion.

— Shelby Brown

Nomadland

http://www.cnet.com/

Cortesía de TIFF

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland has been sweeping awards at film festivals and unsurprisingly won best picture, best director and best actress at the Oscars. Zhao’s a true workhorse, directing, editing and writing this contemplative and fascinating drama about a woman (Frances McDormand) who leaves her home to travel around the American West. Get this: Members of the supporting cast are real-life nomads playing fictionalized versions of themselves. See this extraordinary piece of filmmaking from the director who’ll bring her unique lens to Marvel’s Eternals later this year.

— Jennifer Bisset

Minari

http://www.cnet.com/

A24

Minari stars Steven Yeun in a sensitive and authentic portrait of a family of South Korean immigrants trying to assimilate to life in 1980s rural America. It rightly saw Youn Yuh-jung sweep awards shows, capping it all off with a best supporting actress win at the Oscars.

— Jennifer Bisset

A Quiet Place Part II

http://www.cnet.com/

Paramount

Listen up. A Quiet Place Part II is a near-silent sequel but it’s got even more to say in the pandemic era. Written and directed by John Krasinski, with Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy on screen, the suspenseful thriller is filled with precision-tooled suspense even if it doesn’t expand on the 2018 original as much as it could. 

— Richard Trenholm

Judas and the Black Messiah

http://www.cnet.com/

Warner Bros.

Judas and the Black Messiah made waves at the Oscars, earning a best supporting actor win for Daniel Kaluuya, among its many nominations. It was much deserved. Kaluuya is mesmerizing as Fred Hampton, chairman of the Black Panther chapter in Illinois, lighting up the screen alongside Lakeith Stanfield, who plays an FBI informant sent to infiltrate the party. The biopic, dramatizing real-life events in the late ’60s, is riveting, shocking and sizzles with themes about racial injustice. A big, hefty film that demands your full attention.

— Jennifer Bisset

Movies coming in 2021 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

See all photos

Go to Source

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Tech

Leaked Alder Lake prices strike at Ryzen’s CPU dominance

Published

on

Leaked Alder Lake prices strike at Ryzen’s CPU dominance

Here’s what leaked retailer pricing tells us about the performance of Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake S CPUs.

6core vs 8core cpus

Intel / AMD / janniwet / Shutterstock

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake processors aren’t upon us yet, but another price leak indicates they might indeed compete with AMD’s best CPUs, unlike current top-end Core offerings.

The latest oopsie comes from retail IT vendor Provantage, which puts the top-end Core i9-12900K at $605. The IT vendor also lists the Core i7-12700K at $420, as well as a Core i5-12600K for $283.

After news reports of the part numbers and prices surfaced, Provantage removed the listings. The latest leak follows reports two weeks ago—supposedly from European retailers—that placed the Core i9-12900K at $705, the Core i7-12700K at $495, and the Core i5-12600 at $343.

Before you jump to any conclusions, we want to point out that as reliable as a leaked retail price might seem, they can very unreliable too. Often times stores prep for impending launches by using placeholder prices and specs. Those listings are then updated when the stores receive the final information.

The leaked info itself from Provantage would indicate it’s not quite baked yet. For example, we know the top-end Alder Lake S chip will feature 8 performance cores and 8 efficient cores (Intel’s Alder Lake chips feature a radical new mixture of big and little cores), yet the listing at Provantage lists the top-end chip as an 8-core design. 

alder lake provantage Provantage via Hothardware.com

Hothardware.com snapped this image of Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs at retailer Provantage. that has since been removed.

Still, both combined retail leaks reinforce what we’ve already come to conclude so far: Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake S will at least suit up with the intent to take on AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X.

That’s a marked change from the $550 8-core 11th gen Rocket Lake CPU, which lost badly to AMD’s $550 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X chip. With the 11th-gen desktop chips, Intel didn’t even try to field a CPU against AMD’s $750 Ryzen 9 5950X.

With its increased core efficiency, newer manufacturing process, and physically more cores than previous Intel consumer desktop CPUs, it’s entirely possible Intel’s 12th Core i9 will actually end up being somewhere between $604 and $705 when it comes out.

intel alder lake performance core benchmark Intel

Intel is touting a marked increase in core efficiency with its 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Tech

The best Windows backup software

Published

on

The best Windows backup software

Updated

The best programs for keeping your data and Windows safely backed up.

Rob Schultz/IDG

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

Table of Contents

Show More

We need backup software for our PCs because our storage drives won’t last forever. Backup software ensures we’re covered when the day comes that our primary drive up and dies.

It would be nice if Microsoft itself provided Windows users with something like Apple’s Time Machine: an effective, set-it-and-forget-it, total system recovery and backup solution that requires little interaction or thought on the user’s part. 

Instead, Microsoft delivers a mishmash of restore points, recovery discs, file backup, and even the un-retired System Backup (Windows 7), which was probably originally put out to pasture for its propensity to choke on dissimilar hardware. Online backup services are another option, but desktop clients tend to offer far more flexibility. 

Plenty of vendors have stepped in with worthy alternatives, and while none are quite as slick or transparent as Time Machine, some come darn close—and many are free. Read on for our top picks. 

Updated on 9/15/21 to include our review of the newest version of Aomei Backupper 6. It remains our favorite free backup software for Windows because it provides a near-total backup solution, with a generous number of features. As a paid program, however, there are better options. Read more about it below. And scroll to the bottom of this article to see links to all our backup software reviews.

Best overall backup software

There’s a reason True Image is renowned in the world of backup software. It’s capable, flexible, and rock-solid reliable. Indeed, it’s easily the most comprehensive data safety package on the planet.

Besides offering unparalleled backup functionality that’s both robust and easy to navigate, True Image integrates security apps as well, which protect against malware, malicious websites, and other threats using real-time monitoring. Read our full review.

Best free backup software

Among the free programs we tested, Backupper Standard wins primarily because it has the most features, including imaging, file backup, disk cloning, and plain file syncing, plus multiple scheduling options (see our full review). This was the case with Backupper 4, and the latest version has only added more options, making it a surprisingly well-rounded free offering. We hit a few performance snags with less-conventional system setups, but for the average user, it should perform as expected.

What to look for in backup software

As with most things—don’t over-buy. Features you don’t need add complexity and may slow down your system. Additionally, if you intend to back up to a newly purchased external hard drive, check out the software that ships with it. Seagate, WD, and others provide backup utilities that are adequate for the average user.

File backup: If you want to back up only your data (operating systems and programs can be reinstalled, though it’s mildly time- and effort-consuming), a program that backs up just the files you select is a major time-saver. Some programs automatically select the appropriate files if you use the Windows library folders (Documents, Photos, Videos, etc.).

Image backup/Imaging: Images are byte-for-byte snapshots of your entire hard drive (normally without the empty sectors) or partition, and can be used to restore both the operating system and data. Imaging is the most convenient to restore in case of a system crash, and also ensures you don’t miss anything important.

Boot media:  Should your system crash completely, you need an alternate way to boot and run the recovery software. Any backup program should be able to create a bootable optical disc or USB thumb drive. Some will also create a restore partition on your hard drive, which can be used instead if the hard drive is still operational.

Scheduling: If you’re going to back up effectively, you need to do it on a regular basis. Any backup program worth its salt allows you to schedule backups.

Versioning: If you’re overwriting previous files, that’s not backup, it’s one-way syncing or mirroring. Any backup program you use should allow you to retain several previous backups, or with file backup, previous versions of the file. The better software will retain and cull older backups according to criteria you establish.

Optical support: Every backup program supports hard drives, but as obsolescent as they may seem, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are great archive media. If you’re worried about optical media’s reliability, M-Disc claims its discs are reliable for a thousand years, claims that are backed up by Department of Defense testing.

Online support: An offsite copy of your data is a hedge against physical disasters such as flood, fire, and power surges. Online storage services are a great way to maintain an offsite copy of your data. Backup to Dropbox and the like is a nice feature to have.

FTP and SMB/AFP: Backing up to other computers or NAS boxes on your network or in remote locations (say, your parent’s house) is another way of physically safeguarding your data with an offsite, or at least physically discrete copy. FTP can be used for offsite, while SMB (Windows and most OS’s) and AFP (Apple) are good for other PCs or NAS on your local network.

Real time: Real-time backup means that files are backed up whenever they change, usually upon creation or save. It’s also called mirroring and is handy for keeping an immediately available copy of rapidly changing data sets. For less volatile data sets, the payoff doesn’t compensate for the drain on system resources. Instead, scheduling should be used.

Continuous backup: In this case, ‘continuous’ simply means backing up on a tight schedule, generally every 5 to 15 minutes, instead of every day or weekly. Use continuous backup for rapidly changing data sets where transfer rates are too slow, or computing power is too precious for real-time backup.

Performance: Most backups proceed in the background or during dead time, so performance isn’t a huge issue in the consumer space. However, if you’re backing up multiple machines or to multiple destinations, or dealing with very large data sets, speed is a consideration.

How we test

We run each program through the various types of backups it’s capable of. This is largely to test reliability and hardware compatibility, but we time two: an approximately 115GB system image (two partitions), and a roughly 50GB image created from a set of smaller files and folders. We then mount the images and test their integrity via the program’s restore functions. We also test the USB boot drives created by the programs.

All of our reviews

If you’d like to learn more about our top picks as well as other options, you can find links below to all of our backup software reviews. We’ll keep evaluating new programs and re-evaluating existing software on a regular basis, so be sure to check back for our current impressions.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Jon is a Juilliard-trained musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time (late 70s) computer enthusiast living in the San Francisco bay area. [email protected]

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Razer just made gamer thimbles

Published

on

Razer just made gamer thimbles

Or maybe they’re yoga pants for your thumbs?

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

Razer has never been afraid to take a shot on products that seem unusual at first glance. Witness its RGB-infused N95 mask, the now-defunct Razer Game Store with its own zVault currency, or the first-gen Firefly mousepad, which has evolved into something special but originally prompted us to review it against a ripped-up piece of cardboard. The company’s latest offering might just take the cake though. This week, Razer introduced gamer thimbles.

Yes, thimbles. You know, like the Monopoly piece (or the sewing accessory for more worldly folks out there). Seriously.

Well, not quite. If you simply can’t abide sweaty palms and greasy fingerprints interfering with your marathon mobile Fortnite sessions, the new Razer gaming finger sleeve may be up your alley. “Slip on and never slip up with Razer Gaming Finger Sleeve that will seal your mobile victory,” Razer’s site breathlessly boasts.  “Woven with high-sensitivity silver fiber for enhanced aim and control, our breathable sleeves keep your fingers deadly cool in the heat of battle, so you’ll always have a grip on the game.”

Razer says the 0.8mm-thick sleeves are sweat absorbent, and that they’re made from nylon and spandex. So maybe they’re more like gamer yoga pants? But you know, for your fingers?

Either way it’s ludicrous. And unlike most of Razer’s gear, the gamer thimbles understandably (yet sadly) lack RGB lighting. But if you want to wear your dedication to the Cult of Razer on your slee…thumb, or maybe just look snazzier when you’re passing Go and collecting $200, you can pick up a pair of Razer gaming finger sleeves on the company’s website for $10. The truly dedicated can double down to look especially gamer:

razer gamer thimbles 2 Razer

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Go to Source

Continue Reading
Home | Latest News | Tech | Best movies 2021: I Care a Lot, Nomadland, A Quiet Place Part 2, more

Market

Trending