Lifestyle

Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch: A Discussion

Read this article or not, it’s your decision 😉

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If you’re into watching movies and TV shows about science fiction, chances are you’ve already heard of or seen the show Black Mirror and its latest episode/movie/game called Bandersnatch. It’s available to stream on Netflix and watching it gives the audience a unique experience in a way that doesn’t follow a linear way of storytelling.

Instead, it gives you the power to choose (using your TV’s remote control, laptop, or smartphone) and decide what happens next in the story. In short, there are many directions the narrative can branch out to and every choice affects what will happen later on.

It’s not the first time a story has been told in this approach, but the implementation in an online streaming service and how the events unfold throughout the episode goes beyond the norm in so many levels. If you’ve seen Bandersnatch, we’re sure there’s a lot you want to talk about. And so do we! This article is a discussion on what we liked and didn’t like.

Of course, there will be spoilers throughout. If you haven’t seen the episode, you may stop reading and watch it first. Or you can just continue on and join in on the fun. All up to you. It’s not like someone from the future is controlling your decisions, right?

Were there any expectations before watching Black Mirror‘s Bandersnatch?

Dan: I have to admit that I was hyped for Bandersnatch. It became sort of a tradition for me to binge watch a new season Black Mirror during the holidays. So, when the news broke about an interactive Black Mirror film, I had high expectations. I expected it to be more complex, but I think it was just enough.

Rodneil: When I played the first three hours of the PlayStation 4 exclusive Detroit: Become Human,my initial thought was that it felt like binging a Netflix series with more involvement from you as the audience. In that regard, I expected Bandersnatch to feel like a game, and it did.

Kevin: I expected it to be a dark, heavy episode since it’s what Black Mirror excels at. As for the interactive experience, I’ve recently tried out Netflix’s Minecraft Story Mode and had a taste of how the system works so I already had an idea of how things will go.

What was your first ending?

Dan: I took the initial offer immediately… It wasn’t done in good judgment. 👀

Rodneil: Same with Dan, haha. My gut said to not take the offer but logically, it felt like a reasonable option. After choosing this “wrong path,” I followed my gut the rest of the way.

Kevin: I took the prescription pills prescribed by my shrink (I’d like to think I’m obedient that way) instead of flushing them down the toilet which resulted in getting a 2/5 stars rating of my game. I went for a different timeline, of course, and corrected that.

Did you make good decisions throughout the story?

Dan: Not really. Instead of thoroughly thinking about which option I choose, I always had the thought that I can repeat and amend a mistake. Also, I thought of it as a video game wherein I have to make sure I explore everything before jumping to the next level.

Kevin: I didn’t want to “shout at dad” let alone “kill dad.” So those decisions led me to a dead end. Then I remembered this is Black Mirror and it probably wanted me to go for a darker path. It did, haha!

Rodneil: I’m not sure about good but I did go with what I thought was the smarter or weirder option.

Do you think your decisions reflect your personality?

Dan: It should. Although, I think I wasn’t properly watching it the first time, so my first choices should not be counted.

Rodneil: For the second ending I got, I would say it did. My usual approach in choose-your-adventure games is to not think too much about my choices and just go with my gut.

Kevin: It did. And as I said earlier, some of those choices led me to a dead end. Others made things more interesting like taking on the therapist Street Fighter style. That was fun to watch.

What was your favorite part from the episode?

Dan: I’d say my favorite part was one of the proper endings where the young Stefan went with her Mommy and they got into the train accident. It was just a flashback, but it affected the current timeline of adult Stefan and he died while sitting on a chair inside his doctor’s office. Being part of the Black Mirror franchise, I find this ending to be the best as it embraces the series’ suspenseful and dark atmosphere.

Kevin: There were actually a lot for me. The conspiracy theories Colin delivered while they were tripping on LSD was so convincing thanks to his acting.

The path where you choose to explain Netflix to Stefan, for me, was just so surreal since I could imagine myself telling someone from the 80s that I’m controlling a fictional character on a TV show. I bet hearing that from someone from the future would totally sound insane — and for us living in the present, it is the reality.

Also, that part when Stefan says something about making the audience think they have free will to choose but in reality, it’s still Stefan giving the scenarios and where they’re heading. It pretty much applies to us, too, thinking we have control over the entire episode when there’s actually a flowchart of things that dictate what we can and cannot do.

Lastly, I’d say I was blown away by how meta the episode can become. One ending goes to follow Colin’s daughter who is now adapting Bandersnatch for Netflix. We see her planning the choices for the actual episode and we’re given one last time to dictate what she does next. Eventually, she destroys her computer which then makes the show nonexistent. Brilliant.

Rodneil: Man, I agree with everything Kevin listed. I enjoyed Colin’s entire “free will” monologue and how meta it was when you’re asked to explain Netflix to Stefan.

Is there anything that you didn’t like about the story or experience?

Dan: As I have mentioned earlier, I was expecting a more in-depth viewer involvement. There were decisions made by the protagonist that I wished I was given the chance to choose. Also, it was not the strongest Black Mirror story. But, overall, Bandersnatch is a showcase of online entertainment. It may not be the most original, but the concept was put to good use.

Rodneil: Nothing in particular. I wasn’t expecting much coming into it. In fact, I didn’t expect the story to be good at all, but after watching, I thought it was a perfect first offering for this kind of format.

Kevin: Dan and I share the same sentiments on the episode not having the strongest story. I mentioned that I expected something heavy before watching it and though some of the endings were indeed dark, it’s not Black-Mirror-Season-One-Episode-One dark that will leave you dumbfounded by the end. I understand that they concentrated more on the interactive part and they did a fantastic job in its entirety.

Will this interactive technology change or affect how we watch movies and TV series in the future?

Dan: A big yes. Like with interactive books, however, it’s not for everyone and it’s not applicable to all titles. I’d love to see a couple of interactive films on Netflix every now and then, especially on the big screen. The genre of Black Mirror is perfect for interactive content, and maybe some other horror or suspense stories. Stretching this out to a series will take a lot of resources, but it’ll be grand.

Rodneil: It will change in that I think other streaming channels and even platforms like YouTube and Facebook will try to integrate this feature. It might be one way to curb piracy. I imagine it will be extremely hard to duplicate this experience. If more good titles make use of this interactive kind of viewing then more people might be enticed to actually pay for streaming services. We’re a long way away from that but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Kevin: Of course. It has that element that you’re responsible for what happens to the character — whether something good happens to them or you get them killed. It has a different, more personal impact. Also, what Dan and Rodneil said.

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Free LANY concert tickets await purchases of vivo V25 Series

Join the promo now

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LANY vivo

LANY is coming back to Manila on November 14 at The Theatre in Solaire as part of an exclusive concert for vivo Philippines.

In line with this, vivo is launching a promo called “A Picture-Perfect Night with LANY”, offering customers free concert tickets for every purchase of any vivo V25 series smartphone until October 31.

The mechanics are simple:

  • Buy two (2) units of any of the V25 series (V25e, V25, V25 Pro) in one (1) single receipt
  • Buy two (2) units of Y35 and one (1) V25 series phone in one (1) single receipt
  • Each participating customer is entitled to only one (1) ticket to LANY x vivo Exclusive Concert for every qualified single receipt
  • The customer must keep the original receipt and submit it to vivo’s SM Megamall or SM North Edsa Service Center
  • Purchased smartphones should also be presented

Released late last month, the vivo V25 series features exceptional night imaging technology in the flagship smartphone segment.

The phones in this series boast a 64MP OIS ultra-sensing camera on top of other advanced specs and features. For more details, here’s our Camera Shootout between the vivo V25 and V23 5G.

In case you missed it, the V25 series devices retail for the following prices:

  • V25 Pro: PhP 29,999
  • V25: PhP 23,999
  • V25e: PhP 17,999
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Entertainment

Korean TV series Island hits Prime Video

Exploring the legends of Jeju Island

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Island

Korean TV series “Island” is coming to Prime Video in December 2022, the streaming service announced today.

This means the one-of-a-kind fantasy action series will be shown to audiences in Southeast Asia and more than 240 countries and territories as Prime Video continues to promote Korean content offerings outside of the country.

The development follows the global launch of romantic comedy “Love in Contract” last September.

Jeju Island legends, folklore explored

“Island” is based on the comic/webtoon of the same name by Yoon In-wan and Yang Kyung-il, which was first published in 1997. In 2016, on its 25th year, Island was uploaded to Naver Webtoon and gained even more popularity.

Directed by Bae Jong (Welcome to Dongmakgol, Fabricated City), the fantasy action series features Kim Nam-gil, Lee Da-hee, Cha Eun-woo, and Sung-joon in lead roles.

The live-action adaptation is set in the beautiful Jeju Island and portrays the journey of the characters fighting the evil force that is trying to destroy the world – in the process tapping into the legends and folklore of the famous tourist destination.

The show will be available on TVING in South Korea, and on Prime Video globally.

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Features

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 2022: Freelancer’s partner

A glimpse of freelancing life

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Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

Being a freelancer means you have to stay conveniently connected on-the-go. Some people think it’s all carefree days and not much work. While sometimes, that can be true, you don’t get to enjoy that flexibility without putting in hard work first.

To shed some light on this and clear up common misconceptions, I want to share a sneak peek of a day in my life as a freelancer. I will be taking along  the latest Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon designed on the Intel® Evo™ platform. Hopefully, you’ll see why it’s the perfect laptop for those looking to elevate their freelancing career.

Power and portability made handy

Freelancing offers a very flexible lifestyle as long as you make sure all the work gets done. To get my creative juices flowing,I like exploring new places to get inspiration for fresh ideas. That means, portability is an important consideration for the gadgets I use for work. 

The newest Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbonis ultra lightweight (968grams to be exact) and ultra-slim (14.mm thin), making it super handy. It  also easily fits my 13-inch handbag along with my other things.

Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

What’s most impressive is how much power it packs despite its petite frame. Like the earlier version of the device we reviewed nearly two years ago, this one’s also an Intel® Evo™ certified  machine. The Intel® Evo™ badge signifies the perfect combination of features and technologies, tested under everyday conditions for an exceptional experience that lives up to its expectations. That means it’s been tuned to deliver the best of Intel.

The one I’m using is specifically powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 2.1Ghz processor. It even has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal SSD storage. It literally has more power than I need in such an easy-to-carry body. Exactly how I like it.

Display that’s easy on the eyes

Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

I find early mornings to be my least productive hours. So, to help me get through them, I check my email and phone messages while having a quick brunch. It helps that the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon’s PureSight Display makes skimming through my inbox easy on the eyes. The laptop has the usual TÜV Rheinland low-blue light certification which the brand achieved through the Eye Care Mode feature that reduces the blue light emitted by the screen. This goes a long way in protecting our eyes.

 

The display also has a silky smooth feel and flow to it. The 90Hz refresh rate on the 2.5K (2,560 x 1,600) screen is just lovely to interact with. It really helps make scrolling through web pages and documents feel smoother. The aspect ratio (16:10) is just about the sweet spot for working, helping boost my productivity even further. 

Practicality and the ‘lifestyle’ aesthetic collide

My energy usually peaks mid-day so this is when I usually set online meetings and presentations. I enjoyed the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon’s anti-glare matte finish display because even in bright sunlight, I experienced no issues with my face reflecting back at me. It also helps that it has up to 400 nits of brightness making the screen visible even in brighter environments.

The matte moon-white color is stunning and complements all my other things. I feel a little extra presentable during meetings because of its minimalist design.

While I typically stop working at 4:30PM, I don’t shut down my laptop just yet. I often check back in, respond to emails, and sometimes get back on the laptop to do a little more work before calling it a day. I’m stunned at how quickly Yoga Slim 7i Carbon switches on the moment you flip the lid with no need to press any button.While the device doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, it is equipped with Windows Hello face-recognition using the webcam.

Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

Having to work at different locations, it also helps that Lenovo has thought about privacy and security. One of my favorite features on the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is the Smart Presence Detection. Essentially, it knows whether I’m still looking at the laptop or not. When I need to step away to get my refreshment fix, the display automatically locks and it also unlocks just as easily  when it knows I’m done going AFK.

Durability and flexibility assurance

Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

The Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a barely-there laptop, perfect for those who have to carry their laptop around all day. Lenovo says it offers military-grade toughness, too. This is based on the nine tests that the company has undertaken, including drops from a 76cm height, dust-resistance and the laptop’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Impressive stuff. 

While bigger can be better for others, I prefer lighter. Even a well-designed smaller, lighter laptop has its struggles somewhat to shift heat over a well-designed larger one. So yes, there is at least a slight performance hit related to this laptop’s design. 

With the 3-Year Lenovo Premium Care and 3-Year Accidental Damage Protection that also come with every purchase, you won’t have to worry about taking your device to service centers should you encounter problems since Lenovo offers 24/7 chat and on-site support.

Hassle-free, smooth workflow anywhere

The Lenovo Slim 7i Carbon seems like an ideal choice for those who want a reliable hybrid work computer. It’s small, lightweight and has plenty of power to let you complete most everyday work tasks. 

On top of that, it’s also a stylish yet minimal  device that fits nicely into most working (and non-working) environments. Based on my limited hands-on time with the device, it’s a solid machine for modern-day workers including myself.

It’s tiny but powerful and it’s perfect for my life as a freelancer. With its long battery life and innovative features, I’m not worried about my efficiency despite juggling multiple tasks.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Lenovo Philippines.

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