December 19, 2009

Avatar 3D: Amazing visuals, with 1D plot

Posted in Movies tagged , , , at 9:49 am by myrlinn

I haven’t watched movies in a long time. Somehow,lost the interest for it. So, it was fortuitous that a friend offered me a free ticket to see 2012, where I saw the trailer for Avatar. So for the first time in years, I was eagerly anticipating the opening of a movie!!!

And Avatar was just as I expected — visually stunning. The forest, the flora and the native fauna were so beautifully rendered. What a treat. And a lucky thing too that the visuals were so superb, because the plot and characters were 1D, or if you want to be kind, 2D. So predictable, without nuances which is perhaps not so surprising given that the entire movie seems focused towards showcasing 3D. In that, the movie succeeds really well. I was impressed by the fact that the facial expressions of the avatars were almost realistic, rather than cartoonish.

One mistake we made — we decided to go check out the iWerks theatre at Singapore Discovery Centre.  It was not too far from our home, and the price was lower than other theatres ie $7.  But I was not impressed by the theatre. The screen didn’t look 5 storeys high. Must be a VERY short 5 storeys.  And the seats were not that comfortable. The theatre had a rather basic feel to it.

Also, at the end, the staff annoyingly switched on all the lights too early, while the screen was still showing screnes of Pandora together with the closing credits. If  they needed to turn on lights to allow people who are eager to get out, then they should switch on dimmer lights or less lights.

Also not too sure if the 3D is the best, not having been to see the movie in other theatres. But there were points when I felt dizzy, and my brother could tell that the 3D images were not well integrated, so…

December 5, 2009

inSingapore: In the mobile phone world, smaller is better, but… the fine print is ridiculous!

Posted in Musings tagged , , , at 7:55 am by myrlinn

This morning found me reading mobile phone ads again, this time because I know that a friend of mine lost her phone, and needs one. And the fine print got me all frustrated again. The mobile ads from the various providers in Singapore are nice and huge, often spreading over two pages, but the way the prices are presented is absolutely ridiculous. They show low, low prices, but some of the prices are based on sign-ups “with data plan”, and some are contingent on signing up for higher-priced plans.

If you don’t want a data plan, or if you just want to sign up for a basic plan, you have to squint at the fine print at the bottom to find out how much you have to add on to the advertised price. Very annoying!

It would definitely be more useful for consumers if they were to show the price for the phone you sign up for the most basic plan, and provide a table for how much you have top up if you’d like to choose other plans. And that, if I remember correctly, is what they used to do, which makes me conclude that the objective here is to upsell, that is, steer people towards signing up for high-priced plans and/or other value-adds. Entice them with a seemingly low price for a coveted model, and to get the phone at that price, why, all they have to do is sign up for the high-priced plan, whether the plan suits their needs or not.