Posts Tagged ‘Review’


TheHangoverPartII

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Starring: Bradley Cooper
                      
Ed Helms
                      
Zach Galifianakis

It’s been two years when the wolfpack made a escapade in Las Vegas. This time the action is on the “Land of the Free” – Thailand.

Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are traveling to Thailand to celebrate Stu’s wedding to his fiancée, Lauren (Jamie Chung). Much to Alan’s dismay, they are joined by Lauren’s younger brother, Teddy (Mason Lee).

 

Before coming to Thailand, Stu made it clear that they are not having a bachelor’s party. On reaching Thailand, Stu’s father-in-law shows his grudge against the marriage and more particularly his hatred towards Stu by raising a toast and giving a satire speech. After the party, Phil invites the Boy’s gang for a beach side booze and schmooze get together.

The next morning story takes a hideous turn when Stu, Phil and Alan woke in a cheap hotel room in Bangkok accompanied by a monkey and Chow, the gansta and missing Teddy. The Hangover start again and the wolfpack found itself on a journey to find Teddy and to figure out what happened to them the last night.

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Direction: In one word – Superb.

Acting: It’s not easy to portray a common man desperation and frustration but the trio makes it easy. Each contribute fully for their part to make the hangover really the worst they ever had. But…there is a big BUT this time. It is not funny this time. There are moments, yes but they can be easily counted on fingers. The innocence in Allan is missing. He is no more irritating the way he used to be. I couldn’t feel the connection to the occasional laughter. Stu and Phil are like before. The surprise elements of each character is also missing. But still they are out there and there is no stopping to strange events unlocked as they move on their journey to find Teddy. As always, many of their acts are raunchy which rubs your funny bone anyhow. The incidents that happened to them are cruel and raw but somehow they make us feel amused for everything bad that happens to them. This is the beauty which is still retained and that what makes the movie fun and easy going.

Final Verdict: If you want to see Hangover – this is certainly not the sequel you are looking for. But…again there is a big BUT…go for it if you want to have some good time. It is certainly not the best out there but it is good.

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3G

Tata DoCoMo launched the much awaited 3G services during Diwali this year. It brought some great plans before also and I seriously believe they have the potential and technology to provide a hassle free 3G service as Tata DoCoMo’s 3G services are powered with technology support from its partner NTT DoCoMo of Japan, a global leader in these services.

Airtel has also started promoting its “Soon-to-be-Launched” 3G services. It has a refurbished logo too to embark a new journey. I also saw the Demo of 3G on Airtel network at Phoenix Mall and registered myself as a possible prospect. 

Both these tele giants are getting creative with the new advertisements about their newly acquired over budget sensational domain. I like an ad of Airtel in particular by the name of “Endless Goodbye” showcasing a very cute couple bumping into each other repeatedly after having said their goodbyes. Mohit Beotra, head, brand and media, Bharti Airtel, says, "The TVCs showcase our new services and the new brand value of Airtel. The TVCs will be on-air for four to six weeks and will be followed by other campaigns, wherein we shall talk about more exciting and new services we have for our consumers."

Although MTNL and BSNL have been in this game for a while, but their presence is as untouched as today’s government who made sure that the auction of 3G spectrum to be delayed at least by the number of years as is the age of Mr A.K. Hangal. Needless to say the corruption involved have made sure that the services aren’t gonna be provided at throw away price at least not in the initial periods.

So while most operator are preparing for a 3G embark, my service provider is focusing more into number portability system. Idea is focusing more on number portability which also started in Haryana and is expected to be launched in full flow by January next year. With the roll out of ‘Switch to Idea’ campaign, IDEA Cellular, the pan-India mobile operator, has affirmed that it is ready to enable Mobile Number Portability (MNP) on its network. Post the announcement of MNP launch on November 25th from Haryana circle, by the Government, Idea has taken the lead to make mobile consumers aware of the upcoming mobile portability service, through its latest campaign.

So what’s the reason behind Idea campaigning for number portability system, when the entire India is looking forward to 3G era. The reason could be that they are not ready yet to set a sail for 3G so they decided to board a different ship meanwhile which will help them to be in the competition while they built a Noah’s ark in backyard.

Whatever be the reason, finally after all hush mush 3G is a reality in Indian market and simultaneous launch of number portability is a good sign for customers to choose among the best. It is for the best I hope. So get started and stream and chat and talk and stay close to family and friends more than you were ever.

Happy Ending…


due-date-movie-posterDirector: Todd Phillips

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr.
Zach Galifianakis

Plot: Another road trip movie, with unusual events and unusual partners. Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr) is heading from Atlanta to Los Angeles to witness his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) give birth to their first child. When the bumbling Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) gets both of them kicked off the plane and onto the no-fly list. The story takes a swing from here when both of them take a road trip to L.A. and what follows is a series of events which will keep your jaw at unrest.

My Take: I was sitting on a laughter coaster since the very first scene and enjoyed every bit of the movie. The sophisticated and cultures yet dark Peter and the irritating and foolish yet innocent Ethan sets the screen vibrant with their never matching on screen chemistry. Winking smile

The script is not new. Scenes are predictable and so is the story. But the beauty lies in the way the same old fish is presented in a fresh bowl with fresh garnishing. The events that can go bad tends to turn worse and both the actors flows smoothly along with the story. In this short but never seems to end trip, they keep on loosing and winning each others trust and so is their own personality traits keep on changing.  The new acquaints have multiple crazy encounters together, including being questioned by border patrol for allegedly smoking marijuana and flipping their rental car over a bridge after Ethan falls asleep at the wheel. While Peter despises Ethan at first for getting him into their crazy situation, he eventually grows to tolerate, and even somewhat like, his goof-ball but well-meaning travel companion.

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You may compare it to the ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’, which I heard is where the plot has been taken from. But that doesn’t lessen the credit of this film. I liked it bit by bit. It was a laughter bonanza this season and I’d pretty much give my thumbs up for Robert and Zach for their acting.

Robert Downey Jr. as Peter Highman, an architect portrays the role of an uptight, cultured and straight laced person who lives by the rules and plays it safe. His portrayal of Peter makes you pity on him when he is helpless in the company of Ethan Tremblay played by Zach Galifianakis an aspiring and budding actor who wants to go to Hollywood and try his talent which he has none. While Ethan free spirited ways are annoying and irritating and are causing undue results we end up admiring the character for the innocence that it carries.

So I will recommend it as a must watch and ask you not to pay attention to the comparisons drawn upon the movie and instead go and see the movie yourself because in the end what matters is that you will come out laughing and rolling on the floor. This light headed movie is a must watch. Go and unburden your load. Smile


Nokia launched it’s long awaited smartphone N8 a few days ago for Rs 26259. Yesterday I got a chance to use it and unfortunately I found it disappointing. Being a proud owner of  Samsung Galaxy S, I couldn’t help but compare N8 with my phone.

Writing about it’s specifications is futile as it is already on so many sites floating with the reviews and views and videos. Instead what I intend to write  here is a quick comparison between Nokia N8 and Samsung Galaxy S.

The first obvious point that comes to my mind is Camera. Nokia has placed a giant 12 megapixel camera poking out of the body with Carl Zeiss optic lens and a Xenon flash in its new gadget while Galaxy has got a simple 5 MP with no flash.

The bulging camera design gives an attractive feel on the first look. Obviously the sensor is too large to be contained within the phone’s relatively slim dimensions, so this arrangement was necessary. But on comparison I found the photos clicked on a N8 were not as attractive as were supposed to be owing to much advertised 12 MP camera. Galaxy has much better quality from a 5 MP but that’s just me.

This statement brings me to my second point Screen. Maybe the difference is of the screen. N8 has a 3.5 inches 360×640 pixels Amoled Capacitive Touch Screen while Galaxy got a super 4 inches 480×800 pixels Super Amoled Capacitive Touch Screen. So from where I judge might be the differnce of screen and not the camera itself. I didn’t got a chance to transfer the images from N8 to my system for better analysis but the point is at that moment I was not at all satisfied with the quality. be it the camera or screen. The combinations wasn’t doing the miracles it is supposed to do. Video wise too I would rate it lower than Galaxy which I think is much better in HD recording. The low resolution of N8 is a massive disappointment.

My third point of comparison is Memory and CPU. Both have got a massive 16 GB internal memory with an expandable memory card slot of 32 GB. With the power they both have, I think its wiser on their part to provide such huge storage capability.

But…a big but comes in picture when stating the CPU. While Galaxy boast to have a Arm Cortex A8 1 GHz processor (which to my personal experience is under clocked to 800 Mhz by factory setting maybe to save battery), my dear Nokia still hangs out with Arm 11 680 MHz Processor and a 3d Graphics HW accelerator. Why do they not upgraded themselves. They launched N8 at a time when we are seeing a lot of 1 gig processors. This step can only dissolve their hope of future enhancements that might have been possible.

Fourth point to mention is Connectivity. Nokia has out done Galaxy S. Apart from standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and micro USB the two other remarkable and worth mentioning features are the USB on the go support and HDMI port. Now that’s something I always miss in Galaxy.

Browsing and navigation are a few things that are boring and so much resembling to symbian earlier edition. While I very much respect the Symbian OS (I grew up with it after all), it’s true that iOS and Android are a fad now. Symbian ^3 is a big let down. It does all things required but with extra efforts and extra clicks. We need a better and sensitive OS certainly.

Well this is all from my side. For further reviews about touch sensitivity, build and material, applications and etc, we have the google god which is easily accessible from both N8 and Galaxy or if you don’t own any and planning to buy one of these then take my advice and go for Samsung Galaxy S which by far is the best of all in the Ivy League Smartphone till date.

BTW Nokia has released its new model in 5 vibrant colours, if it makes any difference to some. Well not to me atleast.


There’s a lot of update that I’ll keep posting so watch out for more.

You might also like to read the comments section as  a lot of discussion and solutions are provided in there.

Finally, I bought my very first smartphone after a year long search and research. It is Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000, a super cool 4” super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen smartphone.

IMO it is the best available model in the higher range. Let’s talk about its qualities and shortcomings:

Screen: The most striking feature of the phone is its 4” 16M colors Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. It has a resolution of 480×800 pixels. So what you get is super smooth touch experience. Once you’ll use it I’m sure you’ll never like to switch to TFT screen. Even in broad daylight, the visibility is clear to some extent. The high pixel resolution makes for good legibility.

Operating System: Running on Android 2.1 (Éclair) with news of upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo) makes it a great choice. More importantly Samsung has its own 3.0 touchwiz UI interface over the OS for some great experience.

CPU: A huge 1 GHz Arm Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor makes sure the phone works fast and is capable of handling heavy tasks and applications without any grudge. Well, personally I don’t think so coz in my case I had to force close some applications because they stopped responding. (Well that’s me, so I think I went too harsh on the phone during testing.)

Network: Quad Band 2G and Tri Band 3G support

(2G – 850/900/1900/2100    ————     3G – 900/1900/2100)

Storage: A whooping 16 GB of internal storage (2 GB reserved for application installation). 512 MB of RAM. Option available to include a SD card also. It can support upto a massive 32GB. So rest assured you’ll never find yourself stuck with space crunch.

Camera: 5MP, 2592×1944 pixels primary camera and a 0.3 MP secondary camera on the front.

Misc: Other necessary features worth mentioning

WI-FI 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA

Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP

Micro USB port

Stereo FM Radio with RDS

GPS with A-GPS support

Java via third party

Divx/Xvid codec compatible along with other codecs.

Shortcomings:

No flash with the camera.

No flash support for the browser

My Take:

The sleek design and a vibrant screen is no doubt a show stealer. I have got a lot of appreciation for the phone from my colleagues and even strangers. People just stop to have a glance at the phone. For me it’s a full paisa wasool.

Now let’s talk about my experience and testing.

The interface is simple and very handy to use. The large screen makes up for the lack of physical QWERTY keyboard by replacing it with a virtual keyboard. The touch sensitivity is a delight. The super AMOLED screen does wonders. The legibility is great even if compared outdoors. In short the whole browsing experience has been a sweet journey for me.

The android market has more than enough apps for you to experiment upon. With the update of Android 2.2, many more features will be added in no time, like for instance flash support for browser is there with Android 2.2

The annoying thing is if GPRS is enabled, it will automatically sync many applications with online Google account. Also the free GPS navigation is a no go. For the first time, I was billed Rs 30/- for a 2 minute usage. Ohhh boy frustration…I was asked to connect my calendar with Google account for the first time. I did it and immediately I was online on Gtalk and Gmail without my notice. It was when I started receiving updates and messages that I realized what has happened. In two days, I was billed with an amount of 200 bucks for the usage of GPRS only. So a word of caution to all who are planning to buy this phone (as a matter of fact, any phone running on android) should get an unlimited GPRS plan if you really want to use all the features of the phone.

As mentioned, the powerful CPU and big memory does make a difference. But upon installing a number of applications and games and movies, my phone has gone a bit slow. Some applications take a few seconds to open now (mind you my phone is just 2 weeks old.) So I’m not sure where the problem is but am certainly keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that Froyo update will relieve me from this lagging issue as it is advertised to be 2.5 times better than Éclair on performance and responsiveness.

Camera without flash is a lamp without Jeannie. The pictures taken are very clear on the screen but if transferred to computer, the details are not that fine. It’s like you can rub the lamp and lit it, but you’ll always left wishing for more. But that’s not an issue for me, as a normal user the quality is more than ok to me. However, things go bad in low light. So that’s a big let down from Samsung.

720p HD video recording is finally there. With 16GB storage plus 32GB extendable via SD card, you are sure to enjoy the moments without the worries of space. Video taken is of  great quality. As explained earlier, availability of flash would have an added advantage, but nonetheless, the videos are still good. There is another MMS recording mode which lets you record video on lower resolution but it is useless. The quality suffers a lot in that mode.

Now let us comes to games. A lot are there in market, both free and paid. As a true Indian I always go for free ones (:D 😀 :D). Asphalt, A-Team, Assassin Creed, Kick Boxing to name a few. A whole bunch is there for selection and am sure you’ll love your phone more when you see the grace with which it handles all these heavy apps. Java is available via third party application, which I am unable to find till now. Still searching for one. So Java enabled apps and games are not working right now.

The movie player is simple. Nothing funny in the interface. But the most important thing to note is the support for Divx/Xvid videos. Yes, even full length movies are playable on the player without any lag and also the audio/video sync is perfect even if you drag the video to any length. And I must tell you this but I felt proud again when I watched the movie on my phone. The colors are very crisp and vibrant. The clarity is awesome. Subtitles are also welcome. And the best thing is you don’t need to convert the video to any format or resolution. Direct download and play. Wow…it’s the best. The phone supports a lot other codec too like flv, mkv, mpg, mp4 but for most you have to download additional codec. I downloaded them from market and the videos are all playable on my phone.

This phone is packed with a lot of other sundry features. Every other day I discover some new functionality or process. I must say I am quite mesmerized by this device. Its potential is unmatched to any other device right now.

Finally, while concluding the final thing that needs to be mentioned is the 1500 mAh battery which last for around 1 day on normal usage. Playing games, watching videos, using GPS or WI-FI drains the battery quickly but that is quite expected. Nonetheless, if you decide to buy a white elephant, you should be ready and prepared to feed him. So I would suggest one to be geared with USB charger all the time. It is not that much of a load I guess, is it?

Last but not the least, if you have any query or doubt, feel free to drop them in comments section and will be happy to help you in any way I can.


Update: Asphalt on I9000 – I have been watching carefully on the search words and found this game to be one of the most searched one. Let me tell you playing Asphalt 5 on I9000 is a great experience. There is no lag what so ever. Thanx to the great H/W spec.

Update 2: Many video formats including flv, mpg, mpeg etc are not playable on the default player. I installed another player named RockPlayer that can play them for me. After installing the player, flv formats started playing on the default player also but not other formats. Also Xvid Video was not playing smooth. So I guess its not that optimized as advertised. I had to tweak a lot to get the formats played on my phone.

Update 3: While writing the review, I didn’t fully explored the camera features. I apologize for that. The camera comes bundled with interesting features that helps to enhance the picture quality. Except the lowlight disadvantage (absence of flash), the camera is good otherwise. Also for video recording it has got a lot of features and recording mode. I am still in the hang of it.

Update 4: About the GPS – I think this is one thing that Samsung didn’t pay attention to while launching this phone. I tried the GPS outside and it locked on to my location in some 1 minute –  accurately. The navigation was quite smooth. But things go ugly when using it inside the room. It doesn’t lock my location many a times and even if it does so, it’s not accurate. I don’t know if its a Hardware issue or a software issue. If H/W issue, then its something we all Galaxy owner have to live it with and if it’s a S/W issue then what the hell are you waiting for Samsung, haven’t you recieved the news yet. Need a firmware urgently…

Update 5: Layer Reality Browser: Used it today and I’m impressed with it. What a cool app it is. It has some great layers that you can use to get information about your surroundings or to just have some fun. The Layar Reality Browser shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of the real world as seen through the camera of your mobile phone. This technology is called Augmented Reality. We augment the real world as seen through your mobile phone, based on your location.

Keep watching for more updates….


Ashamed to pull your phone out in a gathering? If you have a phone that would be hidden in the darkest corner of a museum of phone-snobs, all is not lost yet. Thanks to Indian entrepreneurs ‘Jaamun,’ you can now whip out that museum piece and check email on it. Oh yes, and without those GPRS charges too.

‘Jaamun’s tagline is “email on any mobile,” and this simple service is what they are providing — for the simplest of phones.

‘Jaamun’ is a venture by IIT Delhi alumni Pratiroop Mehta and Mayank Kumar. Mr. Mehta was previously working for the new product development team at Reliance, while Mr. Kumar was part of the enterprise software division at Microsoft India.

They started out building a mobile email client, but found that a lot of users have phones that do not support GPRS. The solution, they found, would be to leave GPRS out of it.

“Any IMAP/POP supporting email server can be configured via ‘Jaamun.’ And you can sign up online or by sending an SMS with the email ID and password to 9773467755. Once you map the mail ID and Twitter handle to the mobile number, you are ready to receive, reply, forward and compose mails on your basic phone,” Mr. Mehta says.

For Facebook and Orkut, the integration is a little different — you will first have to sign up for Gmail updates for both these social networking sites.

When you sign up online at http://www.jaamun.in, you get a free trial plan of 50 messages for a month, and you can subscribe to the service after the trial period expires.

Apart from paying for the SMS (when you send mails), there are various subscription packages available for the service.

Going by the site, it could range from Rs.49 to Rs. 75 a month. Push mail service over GPRS is obviously on the higher side.

The advantage with ‘Jaamun’ is that it can work on any mobile and any network, the creators say — there is no need for either GPRS or for installing an application on the phone. As far as the service goes, there is smart message extraction, compression, auto spam filters and attachment alerts.

“On our site, we’ve made it very clear that we ensure the password and everything is secure. The connection as we link to your email is also secure,” Mr. Mehta says.

So if you are not ready to get rid of that decadent phone yet, here, finally, is a way you can redeem yourself.

Source: The Hindu


Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Govinda, Ravi Kishen

Direction: Mani Ratnam

Music: A.R. Rahman

Raavan – The contemporary adaptation of India’s greatest epic is a failure. Why? Because the line between good and bad is too shady. At times, you will be on the side of Dev(Ram) and on the next frame change, your opinion for Raavan(Beera) will change for better reasons.

So let’s do the anatomy of this mega starrer multi lingual release from Mani Ratnam, one of the greatest director in Indian cinema.

To start with, the film took off from the abduction of  Raagini(Aishwarya), who is the better half of S.P. Dev Pratap Sharma(Vikram) by Beera(Abhishek) who is shown as a mysterious character who has his own reasons behind all this drama. From start till end, I couldn’t make out the who is the real Raavan as every one had a shady greyish character. It would be wrong to compare the character of  Beera with Raavan alone as others too shared the same box from time to time.

Abhishek Bacchan had a chance to revive his image but he bites more than he can chew. His performance was stale and boring. The depiction of several voices in his brain ranting at the same time is too overused. It irritates you to the core. His mood swings are not expressive and lacks the complexion of a mighty warrior as he is shown to be. Overall, this is the apple of sin for him, which he better had not took on the first place. The attitude of Yuva and the altitude of Guru, both were missing. He is better than what he played in this movie.

Aishwarya did nothing to gain my respect either. She is a total waste who is beautiful and delightful to watch and still hold her charishma but without the talent. She cries,scream, weeps and then again cries, scream and weeps, but I barely feel sorry for her, because she doesn’t look genuine. It seems she had a soft corner for Beera (lolz…ofcourse she has a soft corner for his husband) even before he unfold the reasons behind his deeds. But in the end, as always she looks stunning so all her sins are forgiven…lolz…

Vikram(I know him for his work in Aparichit) is a great actor with plenty of talent up his sleeves, but alas he fails to bring it all this time. His role as Dev Pratap is poorly sketched and unrefined. His threads are not stitched right it seems and are torn apart as the movie progresses. May be in the tamil version, where he plays the role of Beera he has done some justice.

Now the music of Rehman is the same as in all other movies. Listen to it, just listen. Don’t try to sing the song. The lyrics is not the USP, it’s the music. Nothing new in this department, let’s move on.

Mani sir, what is this? The person of your stature, shouldn’t be doing this. I don’t understand this usage of ropes in every stunts in every films these days. You are better than this sir. Showing the Hero running in slow motion is the least expected of you. Why such unnecessary gimmicks, overusage of rope stunts? Please upgrade yourself or stop using the old software. It’s not worth anywore.

Govinda and Ravikishen also needs a mention as they were also in the film as secondary characters. There role were as miniature as these two lines written about them. Nothing special to say, so let’s move to the good part now.

The scenery is picturesque and extremely beautifull. The cliff, the forest, the lake, the rain, the weather everything is just rightly placed where it meant to be. For a person like me, I for most of my times was more inquisitive about the background than the movie itself and the climax where Aishwarya was standing on a cliff and sees the heavenly sight of clouds and hills kissing each other like  the boundaries between the sky and earth seems to vanish  took my breath away.

The grand sets and exotic location is all that this film has to offer atleast for me. So in the end, as I close my eyes to recapture the core of the movie, I am unable to find one. This film is a lost one, nothing special about it. The epic still seems more contemporary than the adaptation itself. I will rather go watch the rerun of Ramayan rather than Raavan.