Movie Review : Resident Evil Retribution 3D

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Wow, not even half naked Milla Jovovich can save this movie from the crap script. Almost nothing make sense story wise. The whole movie looks more like game cut scenes. And that beautiful girl playing Ada Wong seriously need some acting lessons.

Some of the fight scenes are good but all followed by stupid scenarios, too stupid it almost insulting.

The only thing worth paying is the 3D. It’s very good, a lot better that The Amazing Spider Man (dunno why, my hatred towards TASM grow stronger since I re-watched Nolan’s Batman trilogy).

Overall score : 4/10

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Adventure Of A Poor Traveler : Laos (Part 6)

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Flower Vendor

Flower Vendor

In this last installment of Laos “adventure” I’ll feature some photos with human as subject.

Lao’s people commonly are nice and friendly. Many does not mind being photographed and I encounter some that will automatically posing once I pointed my lens at them. Not much story I can gather from the photo subjects are most of them can’t speak English.

Prayers

Prayers

These two monks chatting while waiting for the sunset at Mekong riverside:

Chat

Chat

This old man doing his evening walk, also at Mekong riverside:

Enjoy The Sun

Enjoy The Sun

Souvenir vendor at Pha That Luang:

Ten Dollar Shirt

Ten Dollar Shirt

Tuk-tuk driver having a nap:

Power Nap

Power Nap

Girls at full moon festival:

Smile For The Camera

Smile For The Camera

A shameless poor tourist trying to looks cool but he just fooling himself actually:

Who is this loser? He does not belong here!

Who is this loser? He does not belong here!

Gears used:

– Nikon D7000
– Nikkor 105mm f/2 DC

(except for the last one, I can’t remember what gear used)

Adventure Of A Poor Traveler : Laos (Part 5)

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Sunset Over A Village

Sunset Over A Village

Okay, now I move away the focus to a remove place in Laos. Up to November 2011, I was working at a place far away from Laos capital and had the chance to witness a very beautiful place that soon will disappear. In the last 12 years, my job has sent me to many beautiful remote places almost unknown to outside world and they all have one similarities: they are in progress of destruction in the name of economy. And this place is no exception. I believe not more that 50 years, those mountains will be gone. Sentimental aside, that might be for greater good for the locals.

Anyway, I will not name the village because it will give away too much information of a company I worked with at that time. But this area is nearby Xaixomboune Special Area (conflict zone). Safety is not guaranteed, but majority of the local are nice people.

Hot September Morning

Hot September Morning

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Adventure Of A Poor Traveler : Laos (Part 4)

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Reclining Buddha At Wat Xiang Khuang

Reclining Buddha At Wat Xiang Khuang

Some half an hour ride from Vientiane (Lao’s capital), there is a bizarre park called “Wat Xiang Khuang” , translates as Buddha Park, which hosts too many to count statues combining Buddhism and Hinduism style.

Its very cheap to get there but the tricky one is to get back. I got there by hiring a car with the driver for around USD20 round trip (direct negotiation with the driver at bus terminal). Might sounds expensive, but the good thing is the driver wait patiently for three hours while I’m busy taking pictures at the park. Be careful when arranging transportation, because there is another place called “Xieng Khouang” which is also a beautiful place but takes 7 hours ride to get there.

Anyway, you have to pay to get inside the park. I forgot exactly how much is the entrance fee, but its around USD 2 and “camera fee” is around 50cents.

The Bizarre Statues

The Bizarre Statues

Like I mentioned above, the statues looks bizarre to me. I will not explain the history behind the design, wikipedia has a good articles on it.

Among the statues, there is one very big reclining Buddha one (the very first picture in above) which length approximately 40 meters. Without a doubt, it become tourist favorite. The are some photographers around this giant statue that offers to get you photographed for less than 2 bucks and you’ll have a rather nice 4R print.

Can You See Me?

Can You See Me?

I managed to get one of the photographer the take a photo of me using my D70. The man had never touch DSLR before, but the result turns out quite ok, aside from a serious horizon level error, lol.

One thing I noticed, you can have some funny pictures if you have someone to take your photo. So I suggest you to get your friend to accompany you, and you both will have some photos to smile about in future. Too bad I was traveling alone.

Here are some more picture from the park.

Snake God ?

Snake God ?

No tripod with me, camera must lay on the ground.

Pardon My Narcissism, I'm Just A Poor Traveler

Pardon My Narcissism, I’m Just A Poor Traveler

I have’t acquired my wide lens at that that time, so this is the widest I can get:

View From The Top Of The Pumpkins Thingy

View From The Top Of The Pumpkins Thingy

Camera gear used:

– A seriously beaten and almost dead Nikon D70 (bent CF pin and some sensor issues)
– Nikkor 18-55G (well I’m surprised about this, I reckon I used 28-80G and the contrast is typical to that particular lens but the exif suggest otherwise)

Adventure Of A Poor Traveler : Laos (Part 3)

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Patuxay

Patuxay

In the heart of Vientiane city, there is one really stand out monument. The name is Patuxay which translate to victory gate. The monument is located inside a quite big and nice park (Patuxay Park.) The park sometimes get a bit too crowded especially on weekend evening. So one needs to be a little bit patient to get a scene with less people in the frame.

Patuxay, view from the most popular spot

Patuxay, view from the most popular spot

There is no entrance fee to get inside the park, but there is a small entrance fee if you want to go inside the monument building. The monument is closed at 6.00PM but the park stays open all the time.
Once you enters the monument, you have the access to use the stairways to go to the roof top. You can view a good portion of Vientiane city from there.

View From Patuxay Roof Top

View From Patuxay Roof Top

For a poor traveler/photographer wannabe like me, Patuxay park is a really nice place to visit. Its almost free and got some nice views that can turn to some decent photographs.

Here some more photo I took at Patuxay (the photos looks shoft in some browsers, but if you click on it, you can view the bigger and sharper photo):

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Movie Review : The Expendables 2

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Just came back from watching The Expendables 2. Booyaah,,, did not expected that this movie going to be such a fun to watch. Mind you, this is the kind of movie where you need to put your brain at home and enjoy it as a stupid fun flick.

Everything you expect from the casts is there. Over the top fights, explosions, cheesy dialog, dumb characters, etc, etc. But what really shine to me is the comedy. I enjoy the comedy more than the action it self. And Dolph Lundgren is a comedy gold here. He delivers the jokes so naturally without being out of character.

The actors are like making fun of them self (in a good way), many jokes referencing to their old movies.

And then come Chuck Norris out of nowhere. I tried to hold my laughter but failed. It so funny when a “Chuch Norris Fact” told by the man himself.

My only problem with this movie is the drama which told not in the best way. Not a major problem ,anyway.

I think I liked this movie better than The Avengers.

Adventure Of A Poor Traveler : Laos (Part 2)

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Mekong Sunset

Mekong Sunset

Still at Vientiane. In the evening, Mekong riverside is a popular place for the locals to gathers. The river itself is not that great, however if the sky is not cloudy then nice sunset view is to be expected.

The street along side Mekong is crowded with souvenir vendors. Most of them sells fabric products (t-shirt and hand bag are the most common things here). Some also offers quite nice but generic paintings of Laos views.

Souvenir Vendors

Souvenir Vendors

And of course the food vendors are there as well. The foods are somewhat strange to me, but some of them looks delicious. I had one not so nice experience with local food taste, so I tend to just order what I have know to be good for me (which is grass noodle with vegetable soup).

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Adventure Of A Poor Traveler : Laos (Part 1)

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Morning Vientiane!

Morning Vientiane!

Not a real adventure, actually. I had to travel back and forth to Laos – Vientiane, to be exact – for the past two years for some reasons. Because of the tight schedule, I haven’t got the luxury of being in the right place at the right time to take photos. That is too bad, because Laos is such a nice place for photography.

I usually arrive at Vientiane around 9.00pm and at that time the scenes are not so attractive (except for street photography, which I don’t really like). So I use to start wandering around from 7.00am to 11.am before I continue my journey.

Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang is one of the most visited landmark at Vientiane, not only by foreigner, but also by domestics. It best visited morning, when the gold color really shine. It also less crowded at the morning.

Tour Group at Pha That Luang

Tour Group at Pha That Luang

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Global Variable Is Not Evil

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Unrelated Random Photo Just Because

Unrelated Random Photo Just Because

I Don’t get the hatred around global variable in programming world. There are tons of articles in the net explaining why programmer must stay away from it. Well I’ve been programming for about ten years, yet I found global variable is really a gift.

Most of the reasoning behind the hatred is code maintainability. That is kind of ridiculous, a well written code will be easy to maintain, and badly written one will be hard to maintain regardless of global variable usage.

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