Made in America is directed by Ron Howard and captures the inaugural edition of an exciting new festival created by rapper and impresario Jay-Z, which rocked Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend last year. In keeping with his excellent and eclectic taste, Jay Z’s extraordinary hand-picked lineup speaks to his broad and inclusive view of American culture. Fascinating interludes include one-on-ones with audience members about what the show means to the Philly community, an exploration of the birthplace of American Independence and even the chronicle of a local hip-hop group as they attempt to get added to the prestigious bill. The documentary premieres at TIFF 2013 and will premiere on Showtime on October 11th.
To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws, glorified by musicians who praise their new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by an addiction to money, drugs, and violence. War photographer Shaul Schwarz directs Narco Cultura, a look at the drug cartels’ pop culture influence on both sides of the border as experienced by an LA narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico’s Drug War. Cinedigm releases the film later this year.
After winning back-to-back NBA Championships, LeBron James might just be the one twice over. The new Nike LeBron 11 plays to such accolades, providing King James with his lightest signature shoe yet. Coming in at 14.5 oz, the model features Nike Hyperposite for light lockdown and superior protection. Hyperfuse technology aids such ethos, as does Dynamic Flywire for secure fit and natural motion. Much like the LeBron X introduced Zoom Max, the LeBron 11 introduces a combination of full-length Lunarlon with a Zoom Air unit for his lowest and lightest cushioning system yet.
Duality is a theme on this reciprocal numbered signature, as the LeBron 11 looks identical upside down as it does right side up. Ambigram word art relays such a theme, seen in many attributes but exemplified best with the sockliner reading “LeBron” when right side up, but “James” when flipped.
Look for the Nike LeBron 11 “King’s Pride” to launch globally on October 12th. The “Terracotta Warrior” will release in Greater China on October 1st, followed by a North America and rest of the world drop on November 27th. (SOURCE)
Set for a debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show is Mercedes-Benz‘s luxurious – and powerful – Brabus take on its ML63 and GL63 AMG: the B63S 700 Widestar. Replacing and remapping the 5.5 liter twin-turbo V8 engine’s turbochargers, intake, exhaust and ECU, the upscale SUV now boasts 700 horsepower, 708 lb-ft of torque, a top speed of 186 mph, and acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds – more than impressive for an SUV of its size. Further adding to the beast’s impressive look is a new body kit that not only makes the car wider, but also allows for the accommodation of 23″ wheels. While pricing remains unknown, expect more information to become available following its public debut in September.
For 25 years now, EA Sports’ annual Madden series has been a reliable constant. Every August, NFL fans line up for a chance to throw money at a cashier in exchange for the latest update to EA Tiburon’s pro pigskin sim. Licensing deals keep any potential competition at bay and make Madden the only NFL game around, but that’s hardly relevant. After 25 years, EA Sports knows what it’s doing with pro football.
Madden NFL 25 is both an acknowledgment of that history and a careful step forward. With new hardware releases imminent, 2013 is a transitional year for the industry. EA Tiburon’s latest is more than a mere roster update; it’s also a much-needed refinement of the Infinity Engine that was introduced in 2012. The game is still burdened by many of the same shortcomings that have plagued it in the past, but it remains, as ever, a capable NFL sim.
Madden NFL 25 revives and revises an older feature to fit into last year’s Connected Careers: Owner mode. As before, you can create your own player or coach and then play through a multi-year career from that perspective, either online or offline. Owner mode simply adds an expanded set of options for team management. You can still deal with trades, scout draft prospects, set lineups, train, and take direct control during games, but as an owner you’re also responsible for growing the consumer-facing side of your team.
This involves everything from setting prices on tickets, stadium concessions, and team merchandise, to building a new stadium or relocating to a different city. You’ll also hire the team’s coaching staff and improve it over time; just like the players, coach effectiveness is quantified as a set of stats. Owner mode layers a business sim on top of your pro football sim.
It is entirely possible to spend your whole Madden NFL 25 existence playing simulated football without ever touching Owner mode – simply choose Player or Coach instead of Owner when you start a Connected Career – but this is a welcome addition that broadens your focus to include elements like team popularity and attendance numbers. There is a lot of added satisfaction in watching your income flow rise as your team improves from game to game and season to season.
If there’s any major shortcoming to Owner mode, it’s the extra time that you’re forced to spend browsing through Madden‘s menus. While the series’ on-field play is generally strong, Madden menus tend to behave sluggishly. This is as true in Madden NFL 25 as it has been before; the sluggishness is no more pronounced now than it has been in the past, but all of the Owner mode-specific features live in the menus. It’s tedious to check out what each of your advisers has to say, though that’s more because of the less-than-responsive user interface than it is a case of the game burdening you with too much information.
Madden NFL 25 is at its best on the field. The quality of player animations is much improved after last year’s somewhat shaky introduction of the Infinity Engine. Players no longer bend and twist in impossible directions, though you’ll occasionally see some bizarre behavior. In one game during our review, the Redskins’ Evan Royster catapulted into a double forward flip after his foot lightly brushed a defender’s shoulder while diiving for the goal line. Such hiccups are not nearly as commonplace as they were before, however.
New tools also enhance the flexibility of Madden’s running game. The new “Precision Modifier” feature allows you to hold down a button – left trigger on an Xbox 360 controller – to make the runner’s moves, for lack of a better term, more awesome. You won’t just stiff-arm a defender, you’ll plant your palm on his helmet and drive him to the ground as you run by. Modified trucks using the thumbstick steamroll through anyone that dares to stand in your path, and modified jukes come with an added bit of dramatic flourish.
The tradeoff with a Precision Modifier move is speed; while the modifier button is held down, the ball carrier moves more slowly. Effective use is sparing use; you’ve got to watch what’s happening on the field and react quickly in order to use Precision moves effectively. Time it right, and you can pull off some enjoyably epic football moments.
In truth, Madden NFL 25 running game creates plenty of opportunity for these epic football moments. The re-tuned Infinity Engine keeps the improbable tackles and trip-ups to a minimum, but it also makes even the smallest players exceptionally resilient against being dragged down by the opposing team. You see this most on the ground, with just about any running back capable of shoving his way through a mob of defenders for a short-to-medium gain. Expect the overly effective ground game to be one of the early issues addressed in EA Tiburon’s string of title updates.
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms return from Madden NFL 13 to provide in-game commentary and the results are once again uneven. You’ll hear them zeroing in on specific player narratives, and they’ll do so more and more as you create your own stories over multiple seasons. Unfortunately, their moment-to-moment playcalling is too non-specific and their “expert” opinion on any given play is out of place more than it isn’t. It’s jarring to hear, effectively pulling you out of your little NFL fantasy.
A Hefty Package:
The elegant mix of sports sim and role-playing game in Connected Careers is a highlight for Madden NFL 25, but Madden Ultimate Team, exhibition play (online and off), and other modes offer additional options. Ultimate Team continues to be as hook-y as ever, with its allure of collectible card packs and constantly shifting team lineups. There are minor changes here and there, notably a slightly tweaked selection of Ultimate Team modes, but these amount to minor rule changes rather than full-blown new features.
EA’s ever-present bid for microtransactions is impossible to escape, of course. You still have to choose between investing tens of hours if you want a strong Ultimate Team, or spending real dollars. In Madden 25, there’s also a handful of Legends players locked off behind pre-order offers, though you can bet that they’ll pop up at some point or another as paid DLC.
The newly revised Skills Trainer is worth spending some time with, both to unlock the Legends players hidden away there and to check out Madden’s tweaked presentation on option plays. Running quarterbacks are hardly new to pro football, but the buzz surrounding guys like Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick in the 2012/2013 NFL season galvanized the casual fan’s interest in the sort of complex run option plays that are gaining popularity in offensive playbooks around the league.
Successfully pulling off an option run – in which the QB chooses after the snap to either get the ball to the running back/fullback or hang onto it himself – is all a matter of reading the defense. You need to look at who’s being targeted and handle the ball accordingly. In Madden NFL 25, on-field icons highlight the player or players (in the case of triple options) that you should be watching, and an updated Skills Trainer mode teaches you the basics on how to make use of them.
To be clear: even with the expanded tutorial, it still isn’t easy for a casual player to make the most of read option plays. The on screen markers help, but emergent post-snap happenings sometimes render it impossible to tell whether you should hold the ball or dump it. That’s as true in the real world as it is in the virtual world, however. Even the most capable QB can’t tell what’s coming 100 percent of the time. The new signifiers certainly help you toward making an informed decision, but learning to use them doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.
In spite of a handful of shortcomings, some of which could easily be fixed with a balance-focused patch, series fans get a big improvement here over Madden NFL 13. Yes, it’s the only pro football sim around, but you’ll play it because you want to, not because you have to. Madden NFL 25 may not be the monumental change that its auspicious anniversary-bearing title might suggest – this is not the 2025 season, believe it or not – but it’s yet another solid effort from the EA Tiburon team. (SOURCE)
Living in the moment, the Air Jordan 4 “Fear” takes on perhaps the most topical color palette in today’s runway/street fashion scene. Black and white tones mix with shades of grey on the upper, playing neutral tones boldly against each other. Super soft suede stars on the middle grey panel, contrasted by similar styling above and below for a gradient effect. Black wings juxtapose that of white eyelets, with an Oreo speckled midsole providing the finishing flavor. Get a detailed look at the Air Jordan 4 “Fear” below and look for this colorway to release on August 24 at select Jordan Brand accounts. (SOURCE)
AIR JORDAN 4 “FEAR”
Black/White-Cool Grey-Pure Platinum
August 24, 2013
Breitling‘s Navitimer Cosmonaute, the first wrist-worn chronograph in space, has been given a stealthy new look with this Blacksteel edition. Limited to just 1000 pieces, the Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel features a black carbon-based coating on the case as well as blacked out dials and subdials. Powering the watch is Breitling’s B02 manually-wound movement with a 70-hour power reserve. An Aurora 7 mission insignia on the caseback pays homage to the original Cosmonaute strapped to Lt Commander Scott Carpenter’s wrist for his 1962 space mission. The Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel is priced at $9,590 USD. More information can be found at Breitling. (CLICK HERE FOR LINK)
If you’re a developer of a third-party app or service connected with Instagram and it’s called something like InstaShutter or EffectaGram, then you’d better put your thinking cap on pronto and come up with a new name for your creation.
Updated brand guidelines issued by Instagram on Monday state that it’s no longer OK to use “insta”, “gram”, or even “IG”, in the name of your app.
According to TechCrunch, the Facebook-owned company has already started to go after offenders, with Luxogram creator Jeff Broderick this week receiving an email about the changes to the guidelines.
Instagram says in the message that “while we encourage developers to build great apps with Instagram, we cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or endorsed or sponsored by us.”
It continues: “It is important that you develop your own distinctive branding for your applications, and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specifically authorized under our policies.”
Anyone violating the guidelines is being told by Instagram to make the necessary changes “within a reasonable period”.
Visit the “using Instagram brand assets” webpage and you’re presented with a long list of what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to creating an app using the Instagram API.
So it’s fine to “name your product something that is unique and original to you” but don’t whatever you do “use ‘Instagram,’ ‘IG’, ‘Insta’ or ‘Gram’ in your app name.” Do “design your own app icon that represents your brand” but for gawd’s sake don’t “use the camera logos, or the Instagram name or logo, in your app icon” or “the Instagram stylized font in your product or marketing materials.”
Change of Mind
This is what it says: “While you cannot use the word ‘Instagram’ or ‘IG’ in your product’s name, it’s ok to use one (but not both) of the following: ‘Insta’ or ‘gram’.” Not anymore, it’s not.
In light of the changes, Broderick described Instagram as “no longer my favorite company”.
While some will accuse Instagram of overdoing it when it comes to protecting its brand – after all some of the affected apps now being forced to change their identity/app name/website address will be ones that helped Instagram along its way in the early days – others will see it as a necessary move typical of an expanding company seeking to get a tighter grip on its name and logo in a bid to build and strengthen its brand among users. (SOURCE)