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Tomb Raider

Feb
27

Lara Croft. The name we all chant in our dreams. The one woman we’d probably want to be stranded on an island (or in a tomb) with.

She’s back, younger than ever, in the latest game in the Tomb Raider series. Designed as an origins story, it details the very first adventure of Lara, and shows us how she grows from a young girl into the explorer we all know and love.

I must admit. I’ve only ever played the original Tomb Raider way back in 1996. But looking at this trailer… damn..

As with recent trend, it seems dark and gritty’s the way to go.

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A good day to die hard

Feb
18

A_Good_Day_to_Die_Hard

Over the years, as John McClane aged, he seemed to have gained an aura of invincibility. Perhaps his injuries over the years and 4 die hard films have somehow thickened his skin, and hardened his bones.

His injuries seem to be receding with each film, and with “A good day to die hard’, he barely sustains 2 scratches while crashing through multiple glass windows, car chases and jumping off helicopters. Did they spend all of their budget on explosions, and forgot to keep the make-up artist on payroll?

In make up for the generic action sequences, director John Moore switches the locale to Russia this time, where John travels to rescue his son Jack, who’s charged with an assassination (But he’s really an undercover CIA).

Together, the McClanes tackle Russian mafia and diplomats, while trying to mend their broken relationship. However, while they manage to smooth things over an explosion or two, the film lumbers and bores and never really manages anything beyond 2nd gear.

The franchise is getting as old as Bruce Willis. Perhaps it’s time for JJ Abrams to take over the franchise.

Rating: 4/10 

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Yahoo signs display ad deal with Google

Feb
07

Marissa Mayer, employee #20 of Google, and now CEO of Yahoo, is looking back at Google to help Yahoo with their contextual ad relevancy in a bid to optimise Yahoo’s display ad revenues. From Yahoo’s corporate blog:

Every day, people turn to Yahoo! for their daily habits — like search, weather, news or more. At Yahoo!, we’re focused on doing everything we can to make the user experience inspiring and engaging. One way we do that is by providing relevant and well-targeted content — whether that be editorial or advertising content.

Say you’ve been shopping for boots. If you see an ad for boots, that’s instantly going to pique your attention more than an ad for, say, a car battery. That’s better for users. This is why contextual advertising is such a powerful tool.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we recently signed a global, non-exclusive agreement with Google to display ads on various Yahoo! properties and certain co-branded sites using Google’s AdSense for Content and Google’s AdMob services.

By adding Google to our list of world-class contextual ads partners, we’ll be able to expand our network, which means we can serve users with ads that are even more meaningful.

For our users, there won’t be a noticeable difference in how or where ads appear. More options simply mean greater flexibility. We look forward to working with all of our contextual ads partners to ensure we’re delivering the right ad to the right user at the right time.

This means that the next time you run a campaign via Google Display Network, your ads could very well appear on Yahoo’s network of sites.

All in all, I’d say this is a nice result for advertisers, while also improving the lots of both Yahoo and Google.

interesting to see if this will lead to more partnerships between the 2 giants (yeah, Yahoo is still considered a giant in my eyes).

Since Marissa joined Yahoo in July 2012, Yahoo’s share prices have risen 30%, going above $20 for the first time since 2009. She must be doing something right!

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Sean Bean dies in every movie

Feb
06

Sean Bean always dies

If there’s an art to dying onscreen, Sean Bean must have it covered. In fact, if you go to google.com and type in Sean Bean, you can see the helpful suggestions above.

In fact, there’s a Sean Bean death reel.

Watch:

So the next time Sean Bean is cast in a movie, well.. spoiler alert!

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The Grandmaster

Feb
03

The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster is a refreshing film, in all the wrong ways, although the Director credits should have sounded a huge warning bell already.

Wong Kar Wai, better known for his arthouse tendencies with films such as ‘In the mood for love’, ‘Chungking Express’ and ‘2046’, brings his arthouse sensitivities to the biopic of Ip Man.

Unfortunately, we’ve (along with the rest of us in the theatre we’re at) all come to an Ip Man movie expecting awesome kung fu. Don’t get me wrong, there are several impressive action scenes, but they are so fragmented, disjointed and random that there was no real purpose behind the fights, other than to capture the beauty of swift palms against lush drifting snow.

The story spans a few decades, including the Japanese occupation, in which Ip Man loses almost everything he owned, and forcing him to relocate to Hong Kong. However, the narrative is extremely loose, and the constantly shifting timeframes do nothing for it.

While it’s ostensibly an Ip Man biopic, his storyline only serves as a bookend to the story of Gong-er (Zhang Ziyi), the daughter of a legendary grandmaster. There’s also a story of another man on the run, only known as “The Razor”.

If you think this review is messy, all over the place, and lacking any real action, well, this is the film.

We all wanna see Ip Man take on the bad guys and win, not ruminating about the virtues of kung fu in a brothel amidst slo-mo swirls of cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, this is a Wong Kar Wai film.

I can’t really describe it other than to say “imagine if Tom Hooper were to do a Batman”. As much as I’m appalled to say this, but, I wish I watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters instead. GASP!

Rating: 4/10

I do have to say though, Zhang Ziyi did a brilliant job with her portrayal of Gong-er.