Sunday, 30 August 2009
I like to start at the beginning, as in how Vin Diesel is an extremely limited actor. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. He was great in the first The Fast and the Furious movie, and he was bloody awesome in xXx. Put him in an action-packed movie, and that's where he shines. Get him to portray emotionally-ridden characters, and that's where he spectacularly fails.
At the start of Fast & Furious 4, Letty (played by Michelle Rodriguez), Dom's girlfriend, is murdered, and Dom returns to town to track down the murderer. This is also where we are supposed to sympathise with him for the loss of his girlfriend, but Diesel's portrayal of someone whose girlfriend has just been murdered is extremely unconvincing, and from that point forward, it is hard to relate with the character. The good thing about this is that this made me think back to the good old days of Steven Seagal, the master of one-dimensional characters.
Fast & Furious 4 is marginally better than Tokyo Drift (which is the timeline sequel to this fourth movie), but that's not saying much. The overall acting is sub-par, but considering this is essentially a B-movie, there's no point nitpicking. I'm not saying B-movies should equal poor acting, but this seems to be the Hollywood trend nowadays. However, since I am me, I will instead criticize something else.
As far as plot goes, there's not much in there other than the typical "guy wants revenge for his murdered girlfriend" story. There are however glaring flaws, the biggest one revolving around the bad buy Bragga (the usually excellent John Ortiz). The screenwriter actually tried to put in a plot twist revolving Bragga, where we find out that he has been hiding his identity. This could have worked, except for the fact that the FBI already had a file on him, but apparently nobody bothered to search for him in the database. I'm guessing the movie would have been at least five minutes shorter had they been logical, so they just had to piss all over the story with this kind of retarded detail. Back in my days, law enforcement was better portrayed in popular media.
The action is actually pretty good, but it's mainly about cars....and cars. I am having a hard time believing that all the car stuff that happens in the movie is actually possible, but the chases are pretty well-done and the cars being the movie's highlight, Fast & Furious pulls this off nicely. However, Fast & Furious 4 basically lacks charisma, substance, and whatever it is that makes people want to keep watching a movie. I felt thoroughly indifferent to what was going on, and there's nothing much to look at other than the cars. This is probably because the basic premise in The Fast and The Furious movies is one that gets old fairly quickly, and the novelty of the first title has already worn off. As a treat, here's a picture of Vin Diesel in 10 years:
Monday, 3 August 2009
Crank 2: High Voltage, as the sequel to Crank, was highly anticipated after the surprising success of the original. In this sequel, Jason Statham returns as Chev Chevios, the man who can never die. Since he can never die, we can safely deduce that there will indeed be a third Crank. In Crank 2, Chevios needs to run around looking for his heart, which has been stolen by the Chinese mafia.
That's it for the story.
While the story is obviously thin, Crank 2: High Voltage could probably still have been a great movie. As an example, the first Crank itself didn't have much of a plot, but it nevertheless sucked people in and was a terrific movie, at least as far as action flicks go. Crank 2: High Voltage is the complete opposite and will probably puke you out, if you are not puking yourself after 20 minutes.
It's hard to find anything even remotely praise-worthy in Crank 2. In fact, it takes real effort to keep watching High Voltage because of the extremely poor dialogue. The lines are cheesy, and not in the good way. As a good example of cause and effect, the horrible dialogue makes the acting equally poor. This is made even worse by the over-the-top acting and the fact that none of the actors in the movie, except for the lead, can actually act. Having over-the-top acting from a couple of actors can usually be a good thing, but when it involves all the actors, it turns out that it's not such a good thing after all.
The most important thing about Crank: High Voltage is that it's gross, and it's gross just for the sake of being gross. This isn't a case where the gross scenes have a reason for being in a movie and where they are well directed. Instead, it's as over-the-top as the acting. Crank 2: High Voltage is mainly about being gross, and something gross happens every two minutes, not taking into consideration the scene where we are shown a horse's genitalia. Yes, horse genitalia! That should be the point where you stop watching the movie.
At one point, High Voltage decides to step even further into the absurd and presents us with a severed head that is nevertheless alive. Fortunately, this happens quite far into the movie and at that point, Jason Statham could have turned out to be a tranny who's always high on coke (which he is, in a certain way) and I wouldn't even have cared. Before that, you will view a scene where Statham shoves a rifle up an obese man's ass. This may sound great, but it certainly is not as great as Christopher Walken shoving a watch up his own ass in Pulp Fiction.
The bottom line? I would not recommend anybody to watch Crank 2: High Voltage. In fact, I'd rather walk with a watch up my ass. That, and Jason Statham will never be as cool as Christopher Walken after this mess. He should stick a watch up his ass too.
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Granted, reviews had already hailed The Legend of Chun Li as a massive disappointment, but I still carried on, convinced that a movie about Street Fighter could not be that bad. After all, the original Street Fighter was itself an atrocious Street Fighter movie, but nevertheless had its good points. However, this Street Fighter movie based on the first female fighting video game character, Chun Li, has no redeeming points whatsoever.
Of course, the cast itself should have been an indication that the movie would be nothing short of a blow to the Street Fighter franchise. Kristin Kreuk, as hot as she may be, looks nothing like Chun Li and her acting in this Street Fighter movie was particularly atrocious. The problem with this Street Fighter movie is that none of the cast looks like the character they are supposed to be, and no effort whatsoever was made to have them sport at least some resemblance to their Street Fighter alter ego.
Kreuk is not even Asian and most certainly lacks the physique to be Chun Li (who, let us all remember, is famous for her thighs, something which Kreuk will unfortunately never have). Gen is no longer an old man but is instead a relatively young Robin Shou, from Mortal Kombat fame. While the Van Damme movie was a crappy first attempt at a Street Fighter movie, it did have actors that looked like their video game counterparts. The original Street Fighter movie was also notable for Raul Julia's excellent portrayal of M. Bison. Fans of the Street Fighter series are this time left with a forgettable Bison (Neal McDonough).
The actors' pitiful performance is not helped by a ridiculous plot. I will briefly go over the fact that Chun Li is actually Asian when she is younger but then grows up to be American. That is probably something the late Michael Jackson would be proud of. Chun Li's father is abducted by M. Bison, and following this, Chun Li resolves to find him and kick Bison's ass at the same time (who wouldn't?). In order to do so, she must seek Gen who will teach her how to "fight".
When Chun Li finally catches up with Gen, the latter proceeds to create a fireball and throw it into a wall. Chun Li, as a true American-Chinese-Street Fighter citizen, merely looks on and is like "Cool beans! Where do I sign up?". The main story is that Bison wants to expand Shadaloo. Due to a severe case of either dementia or stupidity, everybody pronounces it "Sha-do-lao". Go figure. Along the way, Chun Li has an encounter with Vega, who is no longer Spanish, but is now Mexican. Morever, Vega wears his mask because he's goddamn ugly.
At one point, we are shown a flashback where Bison was an Asian baby but is Scottish when he grows up. Although he grew up in Bangkok, he nevertheless speaks English with a Scottish accent. Bison, who wants to be evil to conquer the world, decides he is not evil enough to carry out his formidable and totally original plans. He consequently takes his pregnant wife to a "Cave of Evil" where he rips the foetus out of his wife, obviouslly killing the woman the same time, and transfers his purity into the baby, I kid you not. However, Bison eventually has his grown-up daughter brought to him as she is now is only weakness.
...I am of the opinion that Justin Marks must have been high on weed when he wrote this and that he should be locked up for his crime against the Street Fighter brand.
Although the movie is called Street Fighter and is based on a figher, fights are pretty sparse in The Legend of Chun-Li. Incredibly enough, the best fight is the first one where Chun-Li's father fights Bison's henchmen, which include Michael Duncan Clarke as Balrog (rest assured that his acting is as shitty as the other actors'; in fact, I am going to boycott all his movies from now on). It is also evident that Kreuk cannot fight, as the producers try to hide this with some flashy effects and more "fast-motion bullet-time" (apparently, such a thing now exists) than you can shake a stick at. Kreuk, who is supposed to be Chinese, also strggles to speak mandarin.
Chun Li eventually manages to track Bison down with Nash's help, and the finale consists of a fight between Gen and Bison, followed by another one between Chun Li and Bison. Chun Li uses her street fighting skills to eventually beat Bison while the latter's daughter is watching. In probably the worst scene in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, she then proceeds to brutally murder Bison with his daughter still watching with a horrified look on her face. At the end of the movie, Chun Li turns to Nash, gestures to the girl, and says with a straight face (the only emotion available in Kristin Kreuk's repertoire) "Make sure she has a good life.".
Yes, that is how stupid the movie is. I am surprised that such a script was accepted, and even George Lucas would have to dig hard to come up with such cheesy lines. The other big disappointment with The Legend of Chun Li is that it's about Chun Li. In this aspect, this second Street Fighter live action movie shares the same problem as its predecessor. Street Fighter is about Ryu, the game's main protagonist. If fans want a Street Fighter movie, they will expect to see Ryu in it, and he'd better be the main actor. Unfortunately, important character like Ryu, Ken, and Akuma don't even get a cameo in The Legend of Chun Li.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li also tries to make to many changes to appeal to a greater audience. Ultimately, this happens for most video game-to-movie adaptations, and Hollywood still won't learn from their past mistakes. By changing the storyline, they are effectively alienating the only people who care about the movie in the first place: the original fans. It serves no purpose making mass changes for the benefits of the wide screen, as the general audience probably doesn't give a crap about the movie anyway. Had they stuck to the source material, they would probably have churned out a decent movie, and the buzz alone would have led non-fans to watch the movie. There is a reason why book adaptations usually work so well while video game ones fail so spectacularly.
I like to think that this movie never existed. The first Street Fighter movie was in itself a bad movie too, but it had some charm about it and it's bad in a fun way. Unfortunately, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li does not have this charm and is instead thoroughly irritating.
The funniest thing is that this three-minute scene from Jackie Chan's City Hunter is still the best live action Street Fighter "movie" we ever got:
Jackie Chan = Legend
Saturday, 30 May 2009
Apparently, typing the code
where $ = name of the password textbox
In the case of Hotmail, the textbox name is i0118:
I have tested this on a couple of other websites, as demonstrated below:
I have only tried this in Firefox, but I am assuming it would also work in Internet Explorer and other browsers. Obviously, given the steep requirements for this to work, the likelyhood of successfully obtaining access to an account using this method is minimal at best and would probably not work in a real-life situation. I however think that tons of pranks can be made by exploiting this bug and using it on non-savvy PC users.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
The thing to note about goosh is that it will by default return the first four results for your search, which is actually a good idea, since it is no secret that nobody gives a damn about links other than the top three (unless you used a non-top three link to reach this blog, which makes it okay). However, rest assured that these settings can be changed as goosh already offers several commands, which are more than enough to make it worth bookmarking.
Of course, one could come up with the argument that most Internet providers now offer fast speeds at extremely affordable costs and that people still using dial-up should just stop using computers altogether and go back to using Sir Alan Sugar's Amstrad. However, mobile Internet is on the rise, and when browsing the Internet using devices such as an iTouch (hell yeah!) or a Blackberry (hell no!), goosh can be extremely useful.
goosh also works exactly as a shell and the commands are intuitive (and can always be displayed simply by typing h), thereby giving it a learning curve of at most 2 seconds. If all this doesn't convince you to give it a try and to add it to your Firefox search engines (command addengine), I honestly don't know what will.
Monday, 18 May 2009
GoDaddy's problems start no sonner than the home page:
Too much content, too little space, making the home page a real mess, and don't even get me started about the advertising.
Actually, screw that - I am going to rant about GoDaddy's annoying advertising schemes.
GoDaddy shoves advertising down your throat at every opportunity, and never ceases to tout all its special offers and shamelessly spends all its time and poorly-designed pages convincing you to buy packages and options you will absolutely never need. I went through the domain purchase process (not that I actually needed to buy one, but just to verify how bad it was), and the amount of times GoDaddy tried to get me to buy tons of useless features is truly flabbergasting.
Holy crap, I sure need all these packages, domains, and features! For some reason, GoDaddy would not let me do a domain search for f***godaddy.com or even godaddysucks.com and ihategodaddy.com. What the hell just happened to my freedom of free speech? Thankfully, I was able to make dubious domain searches such as thiswebsitesucks.com and aborttheinternet.com. Due to my inability to make any domain search with "godaddy" in it, I reckon it would be pointless to use it should I ever want to register gogodaddy.com although the latter may have absolutely nothing to do with GoDaddy.
This down-your-throat advertising is made even worse by the fact that it NEVER STOPS. Indeed, some advertising at the stage of the domain search would come across as normal. Most hosting providers do it albeit not as obtrusively as GoDaddy. However, GoDaddy goes way further by relentlessly throwing its "special offers" at every step of the registration process.
Wow! SFAMILY.ME is available? It has absolutely nothing to do with my purchase of aborttheinternet.com, but I might as well forget the recession and buy a domain name that bears no relevancy to my original purchase. Think that's enough?
At the checkout option, GoDaddy automatically selects the 2 year registration length instead of the more logical 1 year option. This is of course accompanied by several Economy, Deluxe, and Unlimited package offers, which basically equal throwing your hard-earned money down the gutter.
Thankfully, the shopping process is something one completes fairly quickly unless you like buying domain names and hosting space by the dozen. Unfortunately, this is where the real problem starts. GoDaddy's control panel is an ill-conceived piece of trash whose sole purpose is to annoy users.. However, this deserves its own post, so stay tuned for this post for my foul-mouthed rant on GoDaddy's atrocious control panel.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Saturday, 28 March 2009
I've found many websites detailing various way of putting an iPod Touch 2G in jailbreaking mode. I have obviously not tested all these methods, and some of them are quite long-winded to be honest. Thankfully, there is a very easy way to put your iPod Touch 2G in DFU mode, as detailed below.
1. Switch on your iTouch 2G, and plug it into your PC.
2. Hold the Power and Home buttons for 10 seconds.
3. After 10 seconds, release the Power button, but keep holding the Home button until the iPod goes into DFU mode.
Once thing I've noticed is many websites recommending to let go of the Home button after 8 seconds. However, from what I've observed, this is not necessary since the iPod will stay into DFU mode even if you keep holding the Home button for more than 8 seconds.
There are also a couple of things you can do to make the jailbreaking process easier:
- Keep your iPod plugged into your PC with audio on. You should hear the standard ding noise when you release the Power button after 10 seconds and hear it again once the Ipod goes into DFU mode.
- Open up your Windows clock, and time Step 2 above for exactly 10 seconds.
- To make things even simpler, you can also download QuickFreedom. If you have QuickFreedom open while trying to get into DFU mode, the QuickFreedom status bar will inform you whenever your iPod has been successfully put into DFU mode.
My next post will be a tutorial on the easiest way to jailbreak your iPod Touch 2G.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Well, thank you so much for advising to go with Windows Vista Home Premium to install on my new MacBook, PC World. I'll be sure to blindly follow your advice from now on and to always rely on your breathtaking recommendations!
Friday, 27 February 2009
Some may find it funny to tell their friends to double click on the Firefox logo as a joke, but I may not be held responsible if you do go ahead and double click on it now.
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Anyway, this post is not about the performance of Firefox, but instead about the about:mozilla URL which I accidentally discovered while trying various commands. Unfortunately, it indeed turns out that about:lol does not achieve anything. As for the about:mozilla command, Mozilla should change the background color, which is extremely annoying.
Saturday, 31 January 2009
It seems Google is however taking things further by doing a u-turn on its "Don't be Evil" policy, which is perhaps the next step in its global domination quest. Indeed, searching Google for Google now results in this:
Thanks for the warning, Google!
Friday, 30 January 2009
Fortunately, I was able to turn all my .php extensions to .html by writing a new piece of code, that strangely works on 000webhost but not on XAMPP.
The code I used is as follows:
RewriteRule ^([^.]+).html$ /$1.php [QSA,L]
This will hopefully solve your problems. Do not forget that your .htaccess file needs to be uploaded to public_html folder and not to the root.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Granted, Frontpage was actually a useful software a couple of years back (by which I mean not less than 8 years), but I would think people would realize that there are much better alternatives now, with the first being the equally infamous (for the good reasons) Adobe Dreamweaver. I have personally never used Frontpage before, but like most web developers, have heard about the many criticisms made towards Microsoft's flagship editor. From looking at the code and losing some of my precious hair at the vast amounts of garbage markup Frontpage resulted in, I can definitely say that these criticisms are perfectly valid. Obviously, given that these criticisms have been around since Microsoft Frontpage was released, there is no denying that these criticisms were bound to be true.
I am not saying that people should just whip up Notepad and start developing websites with just Notepad, a cup of coffee, and some snacks. However, considering there are so many alternatives available now and how easy it is to obtain a copy of these, it should not be that hard to abandon Frontpage and use another similar software. Obviously, the fact that Frontpage is included in Microsoft Office is a major reason behind its widespread use.
Thankfully, I was able to remove all the garbage code and optimize the pages according to W3C standards (something I never seem to have time to do at my real job), but I blame Frontpage for making things needlessly cumbersome.
Thank you, Frontpage!
Monday, 19 January 2009
Now, I am not saying that 1&1 is a really poor host, but they have several shortcomings, pretty much like all the other hosts, and horrible customer support. The shortcomings, I can deal with; however, to describe the customer support as “horrible” is actually an understatement.
Picture this: I want to use .htaccess on our websites. I have many reasons for wanting to make full use of the capabilities offered by .htaccess, but my primary reason was actually related to 1&1 itself. It had indeed come to my attention that 1&1 was using domain parking on our websites. Considering we were paying for the service and had never once agreed to let them advertise within our websites, this prompted me to develop custom error pages to get rid of this shameless ripoff and make search engines happy.
After developing the necessary pages and the .htacess file, I upload them to 1&1 only to find out that nothing is working and that the new files have actually made the whole website “invalid”. This was surprising, as I had fully tested the website on XAMPP and everything was fine. I tried several alternatives, but everything failed on 1&1 while nevertheless working on XAMPP. Finally, I was left with no choice but to do the dreaded “1&1 Phone Call”.
Armed with courage and a stress ball (courtesy of E.ON), I phoned the 1&1 Customer Support to have the issue resolved. I will not go over the fact that they put me on hold for 10 minutes each time, nor will I be annoyed at being told that my support guy’s name is Damian when I can clearly hear his thick Indian accent (Protip: If you are going to lie, you’d better practice make it convincing!). I will instead describe how utterly useless 1&1 can be.
After a first conversation with “Damian”, I was informed that the 1&1 hosts were using an old PHP version (4.2) and that I would need to parse my pages in PHP5 should I want to use .htaccess. Now, why would they be using such an old version? Shouldn’t they change their servers so that pages would always be in the latest PHP version? Usually, that would be the best approach, and it would be up to the user to choose if they wanted to use an older version. The other thing is that “Damian” had to put me on hold for no less than 10 minutes to check with his supervisor about the issues. Great work, guys!
However, I decided to accept the explanation and proceeded to start parsing the pages in PHP5. While this allowed me to use .htaccess, it then turned out that most modules were disabled by default. Consequently, I had to activate them each time I wanted to make use of a certain module’s functions. Granted, in this case, I could blame myself too for never bothering to run phpinfo() on the server, but I am of the belief that all paid hosts should ensure that customers are using the latest versions of the technologies they are paying for. I fear the day when I will need to call them next.
P.S. Some of you may be wondering why I did not make a link to 1&1 in this post when everybody knows it is now so easy to make links using blogs’ WYSIWYG editors. I don’t believe in making links to poor service providers, unless the service is so bad it’s funny, which in this case it unfortunately (or fortunately) is not.
Welcome to my new blog. Those who jumped over from my previous blog must be wondering why I am "rebooting" this blog.
To be honest, I had become increasingly dissatisfied with my previous blog. I felt the content was not focused enough and that the quality of the posts kept declining. Of course, it does not help that I would update it once in several months and that these updates would often be trivial. That is why I have decided to create a new blog which will hopefully work out better and I actually intend to update this one properly.
I am mainly intending to use this blog to share technical concepts and ideas, especially regarding programming, search engine optimization, and Internet-related technologies. Some totally random posts may slip through from time to time, but I will try to keep these to a minimum.