Depth of Field: The Glorious Scale of the NBA Finals’ Game 5

The Toronto Raptors were not supposed to be here. I don't mean here as in the NBA Finals. Here, as in up 3-1 in the series and back in Jurassic Park for game 5, with history at their feet. They'd been among the top teams in the Eastern Conference for the better part of the season, so it wasn't all that surprising they had the championship within their grasp, but they were up against the Golden State Warriors, a megazord entity that seemingly doesn't know how to lose. When I think of the Warriors and all that they’ve amassed—three championships in the past five years; top-dog status in the league; a litany of records I won’t attempt to list here …

Men in Black: International review a galactically gormless fall to earth

This latest outing for the government agents tasked with policing pesky space invaders is a charmless and pointless affair Its time once again for what must now be called the Meh in Black, making another intensely tiresome and pointless reappearance, now with Chris Hemsworth on exceptionally charmless animatronic form in their dark suits, like Tussaud dummies with a contractual obligation to appear in a bad film. They are equally dead-eyed with or without the dark glasses. The MiB franchise based on Lowell Cunninghams 1990 comic book series about secret government agents battling aliens was looking pretty moribund at the time of the third film in 2012, when Josh Brolin gamely joined the familiar duo of Tommy Lee Jones and Will …

Elton John live review Rocket Man reaches the stars on last ever trip

With an incredible band, a Taron Egerton duet and Aretha-style gospel fervour plus an about-turn on Brexit Eltons farewell tour is wonderfully over the top As his Elton Johns life has been defined by excess too much drink, too much coke, too much love so its appropriate that his final tour is, in a bit of millennial slang that he would surely approve of, extra: Farewell Yellow Brick Road is three years long, with about 300 dates. Before retiring to spend more time with his young sons, his last ever show will be at Londons O2 Arena on 16 December 2020, finishing a 19-date final leg in the UK and Ireland. This then is a little taster, as he pops …

Here’s Everything Nintendo Didand Didn’tAnnounce at E3

Greetings, and welcome back to WIRED's ongoing E3 coverage! What have you missed since yesterday? A lot, actually. The bulk of the news came from Nintendo's presentation, so we'll start there, but there's plenty more to get through. Here are the big stories—and the big absences—from the last 24 hours at gaming's biggest confab. Nintendo's Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Looks Spooky Easily the biggest news to come out of E3 yesterday was Nintendo's announcement that the company is already working on a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What's intriguing about the teaser Nintendo released at the show is the huge tonal shift from the previous game. It's Zelda and …

Depth of Field: The Spooky Symmetry of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

Symmetry disquiets. So often people, objects, or circumstances align too perfectly, too terrifyingly for our comfort. Order can feel unsettling and foreign when chaos is the sole unchanging factor. This week, nothing brought that notion to light more starkly than the image of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner standing, uniformly framed, in a window at Buckingham Palace. Captured by Samir Hussein, the inanimate, spooky tone of the photograph evokes an immediate emotional reaction. There's a strange emptiness to it all, and yet the picture is rich in metaphorical dimension. Its composition carries a dark tenor, reflective of present and lurking evils. What is it trying to tell us? Starting Monday, President Trump, along with his family, made a state visit …

Google Stadia Lands This YearIf You’re Willing to Pony Up

Streaming high-quality video to your laptop or television has been a given for more than a decade now. Streaming high-quality games the same way? Not so much. Yet, after numerous stalled efforts throughout the '00s, cloud gaming is poised for its highest-profile deployment yet, with Microsoft, Tencent, Electronic Arts, and others all working on their own platforms. Out of that increasingly crowded field, it seems all but certain that Google's forthcoming Stadia service will be the first to emerge. In a digital keynote this morning, Google's Phil Harrison and John Justice announced a slew of new details, from launch titles to pricing to (not-quite-exact) timing. The short version: Stadia will officially arrive in November. The slightly longer version: … if …

Goodbye X-MenYou Flawed, Frustrating Cinematic Revolution

The 1990s were a weird time if you liked comic books. A speculation boom and subsequent bust wiped away shops and publishers alike, and even Marvel—yes, Marvel—filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Yet the 1990s were even weirder if you wanted to see comic books on the big screen. Dick Tracy. The Rocketeer. The Phantom. Spawn. Judge Dredd. Jim Carrey in The Mask. Wesley Snipes as Blade. Even the Batman saga, which Tim Burton had kicked off with such promise, sputtered into garish weirdness. By 1999, moviegoers looking for something adapted from sequential art had their choice of exactly one film: Mystery Men, an ensemble comedy with a peripheral connection to an oddity called Flaming Carrot Comics. Graeme McMillan 5 Comics …

Hot Chip: Escapism is the opposite of what we should be doing

On the eve of their seventh album, the best British pop act of their generation talk about two decades of music-making A quiet Friday afternoon by Londons Regents Canal. Two dads who have known each other since they were 11 theyre now 39 are having lunch without the kids. One is a smiling, broad-shouldered bear in a pink T-shirt. The other is smaller and bespectacled, hiding under a baseball cap. They look slightly hipsterish, but blend into the background seamlessly. A huge yellow bag and rucksack under the table contain their rather different outfits for later that day. Five hours later, Alexis Taylor is in front of thousands at the All Points East festival in Victoria Park, Hackney, his cap …

I Think I Hated This Tech Conference on Psychedelics

I stood in a silent auditorium and stared obediently into the eyes of a stranger. His eyes were brown. His nametag said Mark. He had a soul patch so tiny I wondered if he had to tweeze it into shape. Around me, several hundred other people were similarly engrossed in this “experiment in connection.” I snuck a glance to my right, where a woman was beaming at her partner. Another pair were clasping each other’s shoulders like slow-dancing eighth graders, one of them weeping. I looked back at Mark. It was like making eye contact with a harbor seal. “That was 30 seconds,” said the man with the microphone. “Ten minutes to go.” I was at Awakened Futures, a conference …

Pathologic 2 and What Games Can Learn From Low-Tech Art

At the start of Pathologic 2, I wake up in an empty room. I follow a light, and end up on a stage. I'm introduced to the show, by a wicked-looking director and extras in tragedy masks and skin-tight black suits. I'm an actor, the star, one of many. Then the game begins, I walk off the stage, and people start dying. Julie Muncy Observation Is About Putting Yourself Back Together Julie Muncy Rage 2's Open World Is More Barren Than It Should Be Julie Muncy Last Day of Spring Is a Powerful Exercise in Trans Visibility Pathologic 2 is the remake/sequel to the cult classic Russian plague simulator, Pathologic. Released in 2005, the game, developed by Ice Pick Lodge, …

2019’s Top Contenders for the Song of Summer

We have entered that restless season of pop maximalism, the post–Memorial Day sprint to chart ubiquity—what will reign as 2019's Song of Summer? Today, even as the music industry moves beyond its decaying center—the result of ferocious, enterprising work from artists like Tierra Whack, Solange, and Bad Bunny—summer remains a period of deep singularity. It is a time that provokes predictability: The songs are titanic in their ambition even if they are only with us for a fleeting few weeks of sunshine and abandon. It is perhaps the last remaining season that welcomes all genres equally, but just as demandingly skews to order. Just as we do, it seeks consensus. It covets audience unity. The contenders are many but there …

2019 Needed a Hit as Bleak as Chernobyl

Animals are dying in droves across the globe. It's 123 degrees in India. US politics are a garbage fire. Diseases eradicated by science have been reanimated by ignorance. Technology meant to unite people has divided them instead. Adam Rogers The Chernobyl Disaster May Have Also Built a Paradise Emily Dreyfuss Game of Thrones Is the Last Great Show to Bring Us Together Peter Rubin Calculating the Ecological Impact of Game of Thrones' Dragons But, hey, at least we're not dealing with a nuclear meltdown! On Monday nights for the past 5 weeks, 6 million people cumulatively have tuned in to watch HBO's Chernobyl, which by some estimates is now the highest-rated show ever to air on television. (Though as we …

‘I had to honour him’: the friends who finished Avicii’s final album

After the EDM star died aged 28 last year, his family decided that his album Tim should be completed. How did the chosen collaborators handle such a sensitive task? Last summer, a carefully chosen group of producers was given a challenging task to complete Bergling bombastic, Technicolor dance music that has dominated the charts in this decade. His 2013 song Wake Me Up, with soul singer Aloe Blacc, spent 26 weeks at No 1 on the US Billboard dance singles chart and was for a time the most-streamed song in Spotify history. Bergling became one of the worlds highest-paid DJs and collaborated with Madonna, Coldplay and Nile Rogers, who called him one of the greatest natural melody writers Ive ever …

Every episode of Black Mirror ranked!

When Charlie Brookers series gets it right, its mix of sci-fi and satire is like nothing else on our screens. Heres its 23 episodes so far, from worst to best 23. Black Museum A compilation of half-thought-out, sub-Saw morality tales that tread so much worn ground (a womans consciousness is transferred into an abandoned toy, a murderer is turned into a hologram that can be repeatedly electrocuted) that it teeters on the edge of self-parody. Plus, and this is rare for Black Mirror, its so pleased with itself that you just want to punch it. 21. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too Miley Cyrus in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too. Photograph: Netflix Miley Cyrus plays Britney Spears, had Britney inexplicably decided …

Court battles and cash hassles: Woodstock 50 loses its stardust

Organisers are still upbeat but the future of festival to mark events anniversary is increasingly uncertain It was billed as the pulled the plug on $30m of backing in April. A series of subsequent court orders first found that Dentsu Aegis did not have the right to cancel the event, and subsequently that festival organisers could not stop their former financial backer from being involved in the planning the event. If nothing else, the legal dramas played out in court are in the spirit of Woodstocks previous incarnations in 1969, 1994 and 1999, marked respectively by love, mud and violence. But Marc Kasowitz, lawyer for Woodstock 50s organiser Michael Lang, Poughkeepsie Journal last week: Woodstock will prevail. Theres little certainty …

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Art of Worldbuilding

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, many fans had the same thought: Disney's got to make a theme park set in the galaxy far, far away. It's the peanut-butter-in-chocolate of worldbuilding: The creative minds at Lucasfilm know how to build cinematic universes; Disney's Imagineering team knows how to construct fantastical lands IRL. If the Mouse House didn't build Star Wars worlds at its theme parks, it would be a huge missed opportunity. Today, nearly seven years later, the first of those worlds opened its doors. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is now a fully functioning "land" at Disney's Anaheim park. Its twin will open at the company's Florida resort later this year. …