CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The best place to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this season. Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports. But what made me really appreciate DC Comics’ Aquaman? Unlike Marvel superheroes who always seem to struggle with internal demons and tragic backstories, Aquaman is well-adjusted and jovial. Granted, since the gritty film reboots of the Batman and Superman franchises, DC Comics have their own versions of damaged and depressing superheroes. But since 2017’s Wonder Woman film, DC movies now seem more cheerful and escapist. Warning: Minor movie spoilers ahead. Aquaman’s mother, Queen Atlanna, played by Nicole Kidman, is ripped away from him and his human father, Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison), when Aquaman’s young, but he doesn’t dive into the ocean seeking revenge against the Atlantean royal family. He doesn’t go on a bad-guy-killing spree. He smiles, jokes and shares pints with his dad at the local pub. Welcome to Atlantis. Warner Bros. Granted, much of Aquaman’s charm is due to Momoa’s built-in swagger. This isn’t the uptight, blond-boy comic-book version of Aquaman. This is a superhero we’d want to go drinking or surfing with. He’s approachable without having a Tony Stark ego. Momoa steals most of the Aquaman movie with his relaxed hang 10 surfer approach to dealing with both his insulting half-brother, Atlantean King Orm (Patrick Wilson), and new vengeance-driven villain Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). But it’s also how Aquaman treats the women in the movie that won me over. Mera (Amber Heard) might look like she’s cosplaying a sexy Ariel the Little Mermaid with a tight green costume and red wig even RuPaul would scoff at, but she’s not in the film as a love interest. She fights her own battles. Mera isn’t about to be a pawn in yet another royal arranged marriage. And she’s definitely not there to flutter her eyelashes at Aquaman. Most of the time, she’s putting Aquaman in his place and teaching him about the underwater world she calls home. TV and Movies 2019 movies to geek out over Tags Aquaman keeps the DC comeback afloat Now playing: Watch this: Queen Atlanna is also a warrior. When we see her at the beginning of the film, she’s injured and vulnerable, but eventually trusts and falls in love with the lighthouse keeper Tom who nurses her back to health. It’s clear the movie’s real love story isn’t between Aquaman and Mera, but between his parents. Although Queen Atlanna is banished by her royal family, she fights for her survival. She’s a deep-sea Furiosa. What also makes director James Wan’s Aquaman great is its sense of wonderment about the underwater world of Atlantis. I’ll never look at an octopus the same way again. Sure there are plenty of exciting battles where Aquaman shows off his power to command all sea creatures with his mighty trident in hand, but we also get to see the everyday Atlantis where whales and giant turtles are part of the underwater kingdom’s public transportation system. We see a lot of world building that makes me long to reinvest in sea monkeys. Review: Oceanic DC superhero epic will float your boat Aquaman: 5 things I want to see from the next DCEU film Jason Momoa gets giddy and naked at SNL Enlarge ImageJason Momoa as Aquaman. Warner Bros. Pictures Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther. This has been my crew, my squad, my ultimate hero lineup for years. Whenever asked to choose Marvel or DC Comics, I proudly yelled Marvel. No contest. The Avengers, Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been the superheroes I needed — complex, gritty and troubled, without a hint of comic book camp. But lately, I need a fan support group just to get through all the death and destruction facing the Avengers. As the real world feels darker and more dangerous with bomb threats, mass shootings, out-of-control wildfires and turbulent politics, I need a superhero who gives me hope and reminds me to not take everything so damn seriously. Enter Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, in the new film playing worldwide and making a splash at the box office. He saves submarines from being hijacked and is always up for adventure. He’s like an underwater Thor, complete with annoying power-hungry half-brother. But Aquaman also wants to be left alone. He’s not really into politics and superhero fame. He’s an antihero who drinks like a fish and would rather buy you a beer than try to save the world. He’s optimistic, empathetic and ready to help with a huge smile on his face. 77 Photos Captain Marvel DC Comics Marvel Disney Captain America Iron Man 1:45 More Aquaman The movie ignited my imagination more than the latest roster of Marvel movies. And even though it glosses over the problem of humans polluting the oceans with our never-ending supply of trash, there isn’t a preachy moment. There isn’t a depressing sequence where Aquaman gives up on himself or humanity. I didn’t feel one second of pending doom and gloom in the two-and-a-half-hour movie. Aquaman’s a guy you can trust with the world, both land and sea. He’s optimistic, empathetic and ready to help with a huge smile on his face. Wan’s Aquaman movie has a sense of humor about itself that makes this the kind of superhero the world needs and deserves right now. So I’m a DC Comics fangirl now… or at least until Marvel’s Captain Marvel and DC’s Shazam create a new tug-of-war in 2019.First published Dec. 22, 5 a.m. PT. Correction, 10:17 a.m. PT: This post initially misstated the franchise that created Shazam. Shazam is a DC character.
Dell Inc is set to announce an agreement on Monday to sell its non-core information technology consulting division to Japan’s NTT Data Corp for $3.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.The move will allow U.S. computer maker Dell to trim some of the $43 billion in debt it is taking on to fund its pending cash-and-stock acquisition of data storage provider EMC Corp, a deal worth close to $60 billion.The sale will also offer NTT Data, one of the world’s largest technology services companies, a bigger foothold in the United States, where it is looking to expand in healthcare IT, insurance and financial services consulting.Announcement of any agreement is subject to NTT Data’s board approving the deal when it meets in Tokyo, the people said, asking not to be identified because the transaction is not yet official.Dell has also made progress in syndicating $10 billion of its financing package for the EMC acquisition dubbed ‘term loan A’, the people said. This is expected to be increased in size by $500 million to $750 million due to strong demand, with the extra money to be used to downsize some of the more expensive tranches of the remaining $33 billion in financing, the people added.The group of banks participating in the term loan A has been expanded from the original eight underwriters to 25, with more expected to join before the syndication is completed in the next week, the people said.Dell declined to comment, while NTT Data did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters had reported first on Feb. 12 that NTT Data was in exclusive talks to buy Dell’s IT services unit.Formerly known as Perot Systems, Dell’s IT services division is a major provider of technology consulting to hospitals and government departments. Founded in 1988 by former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot, it was acquired by Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion.However, Dell has since divested some of the unit’s operations and integrated some others, which it is not including in the sale. Some of the unit’s capabilities were seen by Dell as redundant in the wake of the acquisition of EMC.Dell has also been speaking to private equity firms about selling Quest Software, which helps with information technology management, as well as SonicWall, an e-mail encryption and data security provider, Reuters has previously reported. Together, Quest and SonicWall could be worth up to $4 billion.Dell’s acquisition of EMC, which is backed by founder and Chief Excutive Michael Dell as well as private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, is subject to approval by EMC shareholders. EMC is expected to hold a shareholder vote on the Dell deal in May, allowing for the transaction to be completed sometime between July and October.
In this file photo taken on January 14, 2015 an armed police officer walks past the Cumhuriyet daily newpaper building Istanbul. Photo: AFPAmnesty International on Thursday accused the Turkish government of creating a “chilling climate of fear” across society and curtailing the work of human rights activists since a failed 2016 coup.The rights group said freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial have been “decimated” under the state of emergency introduced five days after the attempted putsch on 15 July 2016.More than 1,300 associations and foundations have been shut down under the measures.In addition, more than 140,000 public sector employees have been sacked or suspended including judges over alleged links to putschists or Kurdish militants.Meanwhile, some 50,000 people have been taken into custody on terror charges.Last week parliament approved the seventh extension of the emergency laws which Amnesty said had undermined the country’s “once vibrant independent civil society”.The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) staged nationwide rallies to protest the extension, with demonstrators in Istanbul shouting “No to emergency rule” and “Rights, law and justice”.Ankara insists that it faces multiple terror threats and that the measures do not affect citizens’ everyday lives.In a report titled “Weathering the storm: Defending human rights in Turkey’s climate of fear”, Amnesty lambasted the authorities’ attacks on rights activists and their “abusive” use of the criminal justice system.“A chilling climate of fear is sweeping across Turkish society,” the report said.The group cited examples of individuals it believes were being targeted and unfairly imprisoned including that of civil society activist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison since October.Amnesty has come under pressure itself since Taner Kilic, then the group’s chairman in Turkey, was taken into custody last June.Kilic denies charges of belonging to the movement led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of ordering the 2016 coup bid.“Under the cloak of the state of emergency, Turkish authorities have deliberately and methodically set about dismantling civil society, locking up human rights defenders, shutting down organisations and creating a suffocating climate of fear,” Amnesty’s Europe director, Gauri van Gulik, said in a statement.Amnesty also highlighted “unfair” restrictions on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) events in Turkey, with a ban in effect in the capital Ankara since November.“The blanket bans on activities threaten the very existence of these organisations and reverse these recent progressive steps to counter prevailing homophobia and transphobia,” Amnesty wrote.