Movie Review: The Infiltrator

infiltrator„The Infiltrator“ is based on a real life story. Robert Mazur, played by Bryan Cranston, goes undercover to destroy the drug cartel around Pablo Escobar.

Robert Mazur there in reality. He spent five years undercover as a money launderer and got Intel in the drug business, which ultimately led to the arrest of 85 drug lords. His experiences expressed Mazur in his book “The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel”.

Besides Bryan Cranston, who plays the undercover money launderer, there are still his two co infiltrators Diane Kruger and John Leguizamo. Other actors are Amy Ryan, Joe Gilgun and Benjamin Bratt.

The basic problem with “The Infiltrator” is that even though it is based on a true story, there is still nevertheless a been-there, done-that quality to a lot of the events depicted.

For his part, director Brad Furman, whose previous credits include the forgettable likes of “The Lincoln Lawyer” and “Runner, Runner,” handles the material in a slick but impersonal style that gets the job done, I suppose, but never quite conveys the constant state of danger that presumably defined Mazur‘s life undercover. Of course, considering that the film is based on Mazur’s own memoir, his fate is clearly not in doubt to anyone privy to that information going in. But, even factoring that in, there is too often a distinct lack of tension to the material, especially when one compares it to something like “Donnie Brasco,” which told a similar real-life story of an undercover agent in constant danger of being revealed but which still managed to maintain a level of suspense throughout.

hat does work in “The Infiltrator” is the impressive lead performance by Bryan Cranston as Mazur. It’s a tricky character to pull off because for large chunks of the film, he is essentially delivering two performances at the same time—besides playing Mazur, he is also playing Mazur playing Musella—and for the film to have any chance of working, he has to be completely believable in both roles. As it turns out, the years he spent playing Walter White, a mild-mannered family man who transforms himself into a vicious criminal, pay off further dividends here as Cranston is able to skillfully shift between the personas he is embodying without calling undue attention to them. In the single best scene in the film, his quicksilver ability to go from affable to nasty is beautifully displayed when Mazur is caught with his real wife by one of Escobar’s colleagues and forced to create a violent scene with a waiter in order to get out of the situation before too many questions are asked. It is a showy scene that might have been implausible in the wrong hands, but Cranston shifts gears from the mild to the murderous so subtly and yet so violently that it takes your breath away to watch him do it.

It is not a particularly bad movie considering it just reflects reality. But it somehow just did not punch right. The Infiltrator is not the big crime film ‘inspired by a true story’ that I am waiting for.

Acme Blog Movie Rating:  3.0 Stars

The Infiltrator is showing in UAE Cinemas from September 1, check out the Trailer below:

Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV has a 30.4-megapixel sensor and turns up in September!

The moment Canon fans have anxiously waited for is here. Today, the company finally took the wraps off of its EOS 5D Mark IV, a DSLR geared toward photographers and videographers alike. For starters, the highly anticipated flagship camera features a brand new 30.4-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor and Digic 6+ processor. It also brings 4K video capability at 23.98, 24, 25 and 30 fps, as well as a 61-point autofocus system, built-in digital lens optimizer, NFC, WiFi and an ISO range of 100-32,000. All told, that’s a big step up from the previous model, the EOS 5D Mark III — one of the most beloved DSLRs out there.

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Similar to the 7D Mark II and the newly minted 80D, the 5D Mark IV boasts Canon’s trademark Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which should make it easier to track subjects when you’re shooting video. It’s worth noting the Mark IV captures 4K at DCI resolution (4,096 x 2,160), rather than the UHD (3,840 x 2,160) on cameras like Nikon’s D5. Another highlight is the addition of touchscreen; unlike the 1D-X Mark II, this one offers a full interface and isn’t limited to video-only use.

Meanwhile, the continuous shooting mode is set at 7 fps, up from 6 on the 5D Mark III. The camera will take both CompactFlash and SD cards, and there’s GPS too – something Canon says had been heavily requested by EOS users. To round things up, Canon upgraded the weather resistance on the 5D Mark IV, making it more immune to many elements, including water and dust.

The EOS 5D Mark IV hits stores in early September for $3,499/€4,900 for the body only. If you’re after a kit that comes with a lens, there will be two options in the US. Grab the camera and the EF24-70mm f/4L lens for $4,399 early next month or the EOS 5D Mark IV and EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens $4,599 in late October. In Europe, the latter lens will launch later in the year for €1,450, with an EF16-35mm f/2.8L III USM lens arriving in October for €3,000.

Source: engadget

WhatsApp will start sharing your data with Facebook!

Well, your encrypted messages will stay private though for now.

Today WhatsApp has announced a major change, that was suspected  since quite some time already, by adding terms that allow it to share user data with its parent company Facebook.

Back in January already a code showed up suggesting a closer sharing of data between the two companies, and now it has arrived whether you do like it or not. Privacy advocates rightfully will be concerned about the sharing of data between two of the worlds’ most popular social services, and the two largest messengers.

WhatsApp, on the other hand, says it needs to share data to test out upcoming features in the next couple of months, like “ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you” and “hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight.”

It’s worth noting the details included in the agreement: your phone number, profile name and photo, online status and status message and last seen status. It doesn’t include the content of your messages.

Well, If this all makes you worried or uncomfortable somehow, try not to worry, it’s just the biggest social company in the world working out better ways to target its ads. On the brighter side  there is a way to opt out, but this is certainly not a very easy way.

That Visa-powered payment ring is now available to everyone

That Visa-based payment ring is no longer limited to athletes who made it to the Olympics in Rio. Anyone can now pre-order an NFC Ring that lets you tap to pay at many store terminals without pulling out your phone or twisting your wrist. Plunk down about $53 and you can get one in your size around its expected December ship date. As with the Apple Watch, you don’t need your phone around once you have set it up — it uses anonymizing tokens to make payments all by itself. It’s not flawless but it’s far subtler than many existing payment methods.

Buy here: [LINK]

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So the new Flagship Honor 8 has arrived in Europe – Here is the pricing

So finally the latest high-end phone from the Huawei-owned Honor brand is officially arrived in Europe today. At an event hold in Paris today, Honor announced that the Honor 8 — recently unveiled to an American audience — will be available from today itself, priced at 399€  in Germany. Huawei’s vMall outlet will get it first, along with an “anniversary package” of bundled goodies. Great time to buy hence. On the carrier side, Three will offer the Honor 8 for sale “in the coming weeks.” Nothing so far on other carriers, but this should go quickly looking at how popular Honor is getting.

The newly released Honor 8 brings many of the internals we are already familiar with from the actual Huawei P9 family — Huawei’s high-end Kirin 950 chip, 4GB of RAM and a dual-camera setup combining both color and monochrome sensors for improved detail and clarity. Unlike the Huawei phone, the Honor 8 bears no Leica branding, but it appears to be much the same hardware on the inside. Naturally, Honor’s trademark fingerprint security makes a return, with another rear-mounted sensor. The Honor 8’s launch price is a good bit higher than previous Honor phones, reflecting the improvements in build quality and higher-end internals than previous offerings such as the Honor 7 and 5X.

Check out the Video below of the Honor 8:

Movie Review: The Mechanic 2: Resurrection

Another new film hitting cinemas this week is The Mechanic 2: Resurrection. The sequel of the 2011 Action Movie The Mechanic. The movie stars again Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop in his well known role as the Mechanic. an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It’s a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. New in this addition is Jessica Alba as Gina. She is mainly just good looking then really proving her acting skills, neither his her role really understandable or believable and its hard to sell that this is the reason he is bullied into doing all the kill jobs. The romantic connection between the two is completely nil. Tommy Lee Jones whose screen time could have been more in my opinion portrays a rather odd looking (Ozzy Osbourne alike) villain, but that is just the way villains have to look nowadays I guess.

mechanic-resurrection01However back to the critics, if  you are looking for Oscar worthy acting or dialogues than The Mechanic 2: Resurrection is certainly not the right movie for you. It is as well not going to reinvent the action genre or is bringing a massive change into an established formula.  But if you are looking for the typical Statham movie where plenty of bad guys get wasted in a number of ways by Statham, which is always entertaining somehow, than you are right in this movie. This sequel is another pretty decent entry into Stathams filmography that as well further pits him as one of the top action stars of this generation.

The CGI was partially too much and I would have preferred rather classic stunt work now and then, but nevertheless the movie is watch and enjoyable at all times.  The scenery is chosen well with great locations in Rio, Sydney and South East Asia. The pace of the movie is quick but a bit bumpy at times. But this doesn´t harm the entertainment factor.

Conclusion

I really enjoy Jason Statham films and hence liked The Mechanic 2: Resurrection quite a lot.  If you are not into the typical Statham movies

Acme Blog Movie Rating:  4.0 Stars