Archive for August, 2010

Photos of the T-Mobile G2

More photos have popped up of T-Mobile’s upcoming G2, the successor to the very first Android smartphone, and the first phone to fully utilize T-mo’s HSPA+(4G) network.  Engadget has a series of images up showing off the slimmer, less angular form factor of the device, which makes it look a lot like the Nexus One or the Samsung Vibrant.

Gone is the ‘lip’ that featured so prominently on the original device, and on its sister brand, the myTouch 3G.  Returning is the QWERTY keyboard, but instead of sliding in a circular motion like on the G1, the screen portion appears to tilt up and away from the keyboard.  Also replaced is the trackball, in favor of an optical trackpad that seems to be all the rage with other Android and Blackberry devices.

No word yet on a full specs list or a release date and price.  T-Mobile’s G2 mailing list site is fully up and running, so head on over there to sign up if you’re interested. (via Engadget)

For more Android news, head on over to my Examiner page.

August 21, 2010 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Review: “The Expendables”

Tongue-in-cheek action movies don’t get any tongue-in-cheekier than The Expendables, the latest offering from writer-director-star Sylvester Stallone.  Simply put, this is a man’s movie; a kick-ass, loud, testosterone-fueled ride from beginning to end.  If you want action, this has it in spades.

The plot is simple: a team of mercenaries are hired to overthrow an unpopular dictator in a South American island nation.  That’s it.  Sure, there are subplots involving some of the characters, and even some unnecessary cameos (I’m looking at you, Willis and Schwarzenneger), but the focus of this movie is the bullet and body count.

Stallone has had considerable success in the past as a director, helming 4 of the 6 Rocky movies (including the excellent Rocky Balboa), as well as the latest Rambo flick, of which this has much in common with.  Stallone knows how to direct action, he knows exactly where to make the audience look in order to effectively wow them with whatever is happening, be it something crazy like an explosion, or simple like a punch to the face.  The sensitive, nostalgic director that gave closure to the Rocky films is nowhere to be found here, this is Stallone giving a helluva sendoff to 80’s action flicks of old.

If there are weak points in this movie, it’s some of the acting.  Yes, this is an action movie, so no one expects great acting to begin with, but sometime’s it’s really bad.  Randy Couture and Steve Austin are not trained actors, and it shows.  However, they aren’t the leads anyway, so it doesn’t really matter that much.  Stallone and Jason Statham lead the pack as Barney Ross and Lee Christmas, and they do a fine job, all things considered.  Eric Roberts also turns in a great, hammy, B-movie performance as the film’s villain.  Apparently, Sly also has a thing for funny-sounding names, given Jet Li’s character the name of ‘Yin Yang’, and Terry Crews’ character ‘Hale Caesar’.

The Expendables is pretty much the exact opposite of something like Inception.  While Nolan likes to craft a thinking man’s action movie, Stallone prefers to go the more simplistic route.  And, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  The final 20 minutes of this movie has so much violence, so many explosions, so many knives being thrown, that it’s almost hard to keep track of what the hell is going on.

And that’s the fun of this movie.

8/10

August 21, 2010 at 10:21 am 1 comment

Review: “The Other Guys”

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have a generally proven track record for big-screen comedies.  They’ve worked together on several of Will Ferrel’s biggest hits, including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  The two are also behind the Internet comedy website ‘Funny or Die’.  Now, the duo have given us The Other Guys, a buddy-cop movie also starring Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, and Dwayne Johnson.  Unfortunately, their first ‘action movie’ flick doesn’t work as well as their all-out comedies.

The Other Guys are Ferrel and Wahlberg, two desk jockeys with the NYPD.  Wahlberg desperately wants to get in on the action, with the spotlight shining squarely on Jackson and Johnson, the city’s two supercops with a penchant for destruction and a distaste for paperwork.  When the opportunity presents itself, Wahlberg drags his reluctant partner on what he perceives is a career-making case.  Turns out, Ferrell’s case, one involving permits for building construction, is “the big one”, and the two get caught up in a Ponzi scheme investigation with billions of dollars at stake.

Sounds exciting, right?  The problem with the other guys is that it wants to be a really funny action movie, but has a hard time merging the two genres.  Similar to how Kevin Smith’s Cop Out from earlier this year didn’t work on all levels, McKay allows his actors to kind of run loose.  Some jokes drag a bit too long, some actors try too hard.  The gag with Ferrel having a hot wife (Eva Mendez) felt like an SNL skit that lasted for a few scenes too long.  Also, while I respect Michael Keaton as an actor, he tries way too hard to be funny, especially in the beginning of the movie.  This flick needed a straight-laced character, and Keaton could’ve been much funnier if he wasn’t playing for laughs.

On the action side, the movie has some high moments.  The car chases in the flick are exciting, with automobiles flying through the air, wrecking against each other.  The last act of the movie is also fun to watch, with Wahlberg getting to beat a few people up and fire his guns, John Woo-style.

In the end, the movie is probably what you’d expect from a Will Ferrell flick disguised as an action movie.  There are definitely some laughs to be had, but this one might be best served on your Netflix queue rather than at the theatre.

6.5/10

August 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm 1 comment

Battle of the 4G’s: Epic 4G vs Eo 4G

Sprint is making a big push toward 4G speeds these days, with two powerhouse Android devices running on their superfast network.  While the Evo 4G made a sizable splash when it was released last month, the new kid on the block is Samsung’s Epic 4G, part of their Galaxy S line of smartphones.  For those on Sprint’s network looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest, which should you choose?  Sprint wants to lend a hand, providing a brief video highlighting some of the differences between the two phones

The Evo 4G has:

  • 4.3″ WVGA screen
  • 1ghz Snapdragon processor
  • 32gb total storage space
  • HDMI-out
  • HTC Sense UI
  • Android 2.1 Eclair (upgradeable to 2.2 Froyo)

While the Epic 4G is packing:

  • 4″ AMOLED screen
  • 1ghz Cortex A8 processor
  • 32gb total storage space
  • Samsung Touchwiz UI
  • QWERTY keyboard and onscreen keyboard with Swype
  • Android 2.1 Eclair (upgradeable to 2.2 Froyo)

These aren’t the only similarities and differences.  Check out the video below for more info. (viaAndroid Guys)

For more Android-related news, check out my Examiner page.

August 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment


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