Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, November 01, 2012





By Anashua

If you take a look at your phone and find most of it filled with idiotic apps like Hot Girl Pix or Funny Noises, take a look at these useful android apps you could install.

Jango - Rating 4.5
The concept of Jango isn't new. We have radio apps like Pandora playing free music, but Jango comes in a smooth, practically ad free format, with a huge variety of music. You can search your favourite artists, and Jango draws up a customisable playlist with similar artists. There is little or no buffering, and the sound quality is great. Don't try to use it over mobile data connection though.

Pulse News - Rating 4.4
If you routinely visit tons of websites every day, and need all your football, fashion and world news feed in one neat page, try Pulse. As it deals with so much data, it can be a bit slow sometimes. The app lets you save stories offline and share through Facebook and Twitter. It has a bunch of obscure but good websites to select from, and popular ones like Cracked, Gizmodo and Lonely Planet. You could also check out Google Currents - another similar app.

Pudding Camera - Rating 4
This app is a personal favourite, that too of someone who hates special filters. But Pudding Camera is the exception to the rule, with some amazing filters and effects. It would completely take over my phone camera, had it been faster. Photos come out crisper without looking ridiculously edited with a basic lens and vivid film setting. The only downside is that there is a recurring complaint that the app tends to crash frequently on some mobiles.

Life 360 Family Locator - Rating 4.5
Some reviews call this app lifesaving, and it can be, at least if your family has a habit of having a heart attack when they can't locate you. You can see your family members located on a map using GPS, and send out messages to them. These messages are like statuses, informing your family about what you're doing. You can also send emergency messages even if your network is down. This app is brilliant, but don't make the mistake of adding your boyfriend and parents together. Everyone in your list can see each other's whereabouts.

Hidden Eye - Rating 3.9
Most of us have had people snooping on our phones when we weren't around. Now there's an app to find out who it was. Hidden eye snaps a picture of anyone who has tried to unlock your phone. Incorrect pattern attempts are recorded, and after three tries it sounds an alarm. It can be annoying for people who get their own patterns wrong and regularly have awkward, odd angle pictures taken. This app can also drain your battery, so keep it turned off when you are on your own.


Rating: 6/10

By Dr Who

There are movies than make you pause and take a minute to look at life. There are movies that make you laugh. Then there are movies like The Raid which leave you awestruck due to the sheer action that it packs.

The plot, what there is of it, revolves around an Indonesian SWAT team - led by Sergeant Jaka - which includes Rama, a rookie SWAT member. The team is charged with raiding a 15-story apartment building run by a crime boss, Tama. Everything goes according to plan, until they reach the sixth floor, where a spotter alerts Tama that the police are here. The defences kick in and immediately things go to hell in a hand-basket.

The action sequences are flawless. The fighting is fast, desperate and hectic; one particular scene that really stands out is when Rama, barehanded faces, four guys armed with machetes, in a narrow corridor. The interior of the apartment building may look very familiar to anyone who played Max Payne 2; it is almost a mirror image of Max's apartment building and there's a definite sense of déjà vu.

The fighting style used in the movie is traditional Indonesian martial art called Pencak Silat, and while the movie is fast, it is easy to notice some of the basic moves of the style. The effects are very well done; bullets look like bullets, not blobs of grey moving through the air. The explosions, the guns, the shooting, it all looks very real and that's a remarkable feat, considering the movie was made in Indonesia.

The soundtrack is composed by Mike Shinoda [Linkin Park, Fort Minor], and say what you will about his music, it is very conducive for breaking stuff. One particular score, during a fight sequence through a drug lab, is very reminiscent of “Clubbed to Death” which is the score used for Matrix: Reloaded's chateau fight scene, arguably one of the two things worth watching in the latter instalments of the Matrix, the other being the highway chase.

Movies like these have quite a few drawbacks. Sometimes the action seems almost too perfect and synchronised; not the dance that was the Matrix, but not the gritty efficiency of Jason Bourne fighting in the bathroom using a magazine against a knife either.

The plot, in its entirety, is supremely simplistic, lacks depth and is clichéd. For all its seriousness, the movie doesn't seem to take its audience very seriously, since SWAT members conveniently leave weapons strewn around throughout the movie to face villains with their bare hands. This is annoying to the point that you'll be screaming at the screen for the heroes to retrieve their goddamned knives from dead bodies, because when you are stuck in a building full of guys who want to kill you, you better have something to defend yourself with.

Despite the drawbacks, the movie is very well aware of what it is and what it is trying to provide, which is fast paced action. Because there are no crossovers and it doesn't try to do too much, The Raid stays true to its essence and is one hell of a fun movie to watch. We recommend watching it in the original Indonesian. Somehow it is much more satisfying.

Fun Fact
* Though acting isn't the main focus of the movie, Joe Taslim playing Sergeant Jaka, stands out with his fast lines and expressive presence. He even landed the role of the villain in the next Fast and the Furious movie, called Fast Six.

* The movie's Indonesian name is Serbuan Maut, which means Deadly Invasion


By Green Day
Review by Bareesh

21st Century Breakdown was an atrociously bad album. It was horrible. It was retch-inducing. It was a shocking fall from grace for pop-punk's posterboys, Green Day. It was directionless, a vague gripe towards the “authority” and a betrayal of what Green Day was - Pop punk, ridiculous, and fun. There, now that we've gotten that necessary detail out of the way, let's move on to the fact that the first of Green Day's new trilogy of albums, iUno!, is pretty amazing.

After the dreary gloom and worry of American Idiot and the-album-that-shall-not-be-named (again), iUno! is a relief. 12 shots of simple, no-agenda, power pop are blasted in your face in this album. The first of a trilogy of albums, the next of which is to come out before the year is up, releasing in quick succession; it's absolute lunacy of the best kind. A return to their roots, every single song would not be out of place in the Green Day back catalogues of Dookie, Nimrod, Kerplunk and the like.

The album kicks off with the atomic paced Nuclear Family. This song is best characterised by its lyrics. Stay the Night is a song that would have been a massive, massive hit in 1995; nostalgia inducing 90s rock. Carpe Diem, thrashing guitar, classic Green Day. Let Yourself Go has repetitive punk harmonies and the “anger” seems forced; probably the lowest point in the album. This is followed by possibly the highest point in the album, Kill the DJ. This is straight out dance music, pure mosh pit pop.Done innumerable times, chugging riffs from Mike, romanticised heart tugging lyrics from Billie Joe, doubled up drumming from Tre, Fell For You is a formula that the band just can't go wrong with. Loss of Control is an ok track, not much more to say for it. Troublemaker can be termed an opening act (and an antidote for the major meh-ness of the previous song) for this reviewer's favourite song of the album, Angel Blue; a three-chord riff over lyrics about a screw-up's pining for the “perfect” girl.

Sweet 16 would best exemplify this album : a return to their romanticised youth, fast, short, sweet, fun. Rusty James has the message of bitter betrayal over the dying out of the punk movement. The album closes out with Oh Love, a softer, more melodic song, one of those songs you wave your lighter around in the air to.

The album is a return to roots, and unlike most bands that just move back to doing what they're good at, Green Day does it in style. The album lacks experimentation and adventure, but it makes up for it by going back to what made Green Day one of the greatest punk bands ever.



Review by That Guy

It's been a little more than a month since FIFA 13 came out and we're pretty sure all of you have probably acquired a copy and played the hell out of it. Well, so have we, hence the lateness.

FIFA 13 had a lot to live up to, since its predecessor. FIFA 12, revolutionised the series. It was a total overhaul of the old FIFA formula. No more defending by just holding down X, no more crappy animation for player collisions. While FIFA 12 brought in many new features and improvements, FIFA 13 sticks to the philosophy of “If it's not broken, don't fix it”. It's a better game than 12, but its lengthy list of enhancements are mainly minor tweaks and improvements on the features introduced in 12. That being said, there are some notable improvements.

The most prominent of these is the new first touch control. No longer do the likes of the vast majority of League 2 players have the supernatural first touch of people such as Dimitar Berbatov. Players will fumble, they will miscue touches and they will make you yell in frustration at their incapability to hold the ball as you want them. This new addition brings an air of realism but also makes the game less accessible. It takes some skill to master, hence our month in seclusion in devotion to the FIFA gods.

Last year “Tactical Defending” brought a whole new dimension to the game, and this year there's been major improvement in dribbling. Inspired by the last FIFA Street game (which was surprisingly really good), now you can swirl the ball around a player's feet, teasing defenders and pulling off skillful flicks and tricks. Pulling off such manoeuvres are incredibly satisfying and this particular reviewer is quite rubbish at it.

Lastly, the player-impact engine has been improved but wacky; awkward player collisions still exist, and if you try hard enough, I think you can still get Andy Carroll to make out with Lukas Fabianski.

There are now some fun minigames to replace the old keeper vs striker scenarios that we were subjected to in FIFA 12 while the match loaded. The soundtrack is pretty good, again. It's the best FIFA yet, but only just. And this time next year, we'll probably be saying the same thing about 14.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2012 The Daily Star