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.
Magazines finally come to Apple News
Apple’s newest subscription service
You’ll finally be able to get Vogue on your phone monthly. 💃🏽
Apple’s last event saw no hardware. Instead, the tech giant showcased a number of new services. One such service brings 300 magazines to their platform.
— Apple News (@AppleNews) March 25, 2019
Apple News+ brings reading magazines to a whole new level. With live covers formatted for whatever device you’re using, magazines will now be an even more immersive experience.
Intuitive navigation, dynamic layouts, and interesting titles are all big selling points of Apple’s newest addition to their news subscription service.
Aside from that, though, Apple touts privacy and security — a recurring theme in this year’s event. Apple News+ creates a tailored experience for each user but all this personalization happens on your device. This means the company doesn’t know what you read, and neither will advertisers.
The new service costs US$ 9.99 per month for access to all this content. Plus, you can share your subscription with family. Starting today, you can get Apple News+ in the US and Canada by downloading an update. The service will come to Europe and UK in fall 2019.
How to use your selfie camera for better photos
The front-facing camera is all you’ll ever need
When someone says “selfie,” most people think of photos similar to this:
And while there’s nothing wrong with photos like these, I’m here to tell you that pictures with your smartphone’s front-facing cameras can be way better. No, really.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to get picturesque selfie shots that are Instagram-worthy.
First off, you’ll need a smartphone with a powerful selfie cam. Gone are the days when front shooters were considered secondary cameras. Brands have now recognized the importance of selfie shooters and they’re now putting in even better ones — thank heavens! The weapon of choice for this activity was the Honor 10 Lite with a 24-megapixel camera equipped with AI.
The next step is finding a great spot. Find a way to mount your phone — whether it be with a phone tripod, or entails propping it up on a wall or your coffee mug (like I did). What’s important is that your phone is on a stable place. Now you can fix your framing!
The camera timer is the most commonly used feature for these photos. All you need to do is turn it on and pose.
My favorite selfie feature would be the Palm Gesture. Simply raise up your palm when you’re ready. This saves you the trouble of having to physically tap the shutter button over and over. On the Honor 10 Lite, there’s also the Smile Shutter feature which triggers the shutter every time you smile, and the Volume Control feature which triggers the shutter when you say “Cheese,” or when your voice reaches a certain decibel.
What I love about shooting with the selfie cam is the fact that it shows me what my photo looks like before I hit the shutter. This means I can move around and make sure none of my body parts are cut out. I can also make sure I’m not shooting an unflattering angle and adjust accordingly. Here are just some samples I shot with the Honor 10 Lite:
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Honor.
Nike’s new booth is an Instagramable fitness challenge
Just do it
Nike’s newest booth, located in Bonifacio High Street, Metro Manila, has been turning heads.
The place features a bunch of colorful decors which include, of all things, giant donuts.
Nike’s new Epic React Flyknit 2 is also on display…
As well as a lot of other photogenic props.
It’s the perfect spot for a good athleisurewear #OOTD!
But, that’s not all the spot is good for.
The booth is home to Nike’s Go More, Get More trialing program. Basically, you get to try the new Flyknits and earn points while doing so.
Those points convert to prizes and digital rewards from Nike!
Doesn’t that sound fun? Like Nike goes, Just do it!
The Go More, Get More program will run from March 19 to April 19 and it will be open to the public Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm to 10pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm.
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