iPhone 11 Pro Speed Test Shows Phone Performing Slower Than iPhone XS

With every announcement of Apple’s new iPhone generation, comes a promise of new and meagre improvements over the last, and Apple’s recently launched iPhone 11 Pro is no exception to the rule. However, a recent YouTube video seems to suggest that the phone isn’t quite the speedfreak as Apple says it is.
The video, which was uploaded by Apple enthusiasts, EverythingApplePro, shows a speed comparison between iPhones that are a generation older than the other. In this case, the phones in questions are the iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone XS, iPhone X.
The speed tests are conducted twice; once with the app being opened for the first time, followed by the app being reopened after the initial run. Surprisingly, the iPhone XS was able to keep up with the iPhone 11 Pro app launch time with an only one-second difference when the lap time was timed.

During the second run, the iPhone XS was able to initialise apps a lot quicker, eventually beating its successor to the finish line nearly 30 seconds faster. In this test, the iPhone X clearly showed its age as the phone does take a while to fully open an app to its main menu.
The most noticeable delays when launching apps were between Fornite and Minecraft. In this portion of the test, both the iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro are neck to neck in loading up both games. On the other hand, the tester notes that the iPhone 11 Pro has a heat issue during usage, and that issue is not limited during the tests only. There are also mentions of strange sounds coming out of the display at random times.

One reason for this, as pointed out, is probably because some of the developers have not optimised their titles to take full advantage of the A13 Bionic chipset inside the iPhone 11 Pro. On that note, the tester believes that the next version of iOS should bring about some optimisations for the iPhone 11 Pro, which in turn means that he will be re-running the same test on all three phones in the future.
(Source: EverythingApplePro via Hot Hardware // Image: EverythingApplePro)

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AMD Delays Launch Of Ryzen 9 3950X CPU Till November 2019

For the PC enthusiasts among you hoping to get your hands on AMD’s top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 3950X, you’re going to have to drag out your excitement for couple more months. AMD has delayed the CPU’s original launch from September to November this year.
Originally slated to hit the shelves this month, AMD sent out an email detailing the reason for its delay. Saying that it was necessary in order to ensure that there was sufficient stock available in order “to meet the high demand” for the CPU.
The Ryzen 9 3950X was first announced back in June this year, during AMD’s keynote at Computex 2019. The CPU, which is a step up from the current Ryzen 9 3900X, is the first consumer-level desktop CPU to ship out with a 16-cores, 32-threads layout. Built using AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, it has a base clock of 3.5GHz and boost clock of 4.7GHz.

On a slightly cheerier note, it looks like AMD will also be launching its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper in the same month. As pointed out by AnandTech, the new HEDT CPUs will start at 24-cores, though at this point, it is still not officially known just how many cores the top-tier CPU in this category will have at launch.
(Source: AnandTech, Hot Hardware)
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Disney CEO Says FOX Movies Were Failing Before Disney’s Purchase

Disney did the unthinkable earlier this year when they acquired 20th Century Fox, along with all their properties. While on the surface, it all just seems fun and exciting as the acquisition also means that the likes of X-Men and Fantastic Four will be rebooted and be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in reality, the purchase changes the media landscape in a huge way (monopoly is never a good thing).
Anyway, Disney CEO Bob Iger has been speaking pretty openly about the Disney-Fox acquisition. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Iger discussed the status of the Fox assets before the deal was sealed, even saying that Fox’s movies simply weren’t doing well at the box office.
“It wasn’t a slap-down. It was an admission that the movies that they had made failed. And I actually gave then a tremendous amount of cover by saying that when companies are bought, processes and decision making can come to a halt.”
The Walt Disney Company CEO, Bob Iger
However, Iger said that he only saw this as a short-term problem.
“There were problems at that studio well before the deal was announced. But the reason I did not believe that it was something we should be concerned about is because it’s a short-term problem. And with the talent that we have at our studio, that are now supervising with some of their executives all the movies that they decide to make and how they are made, I’m convinced that the turnaround can happen. It’s not a snap your fingers, but it’s not 10 years of lost value. It’s a year and a half.”
This comment of his seems to slightly contradict what he said a couple of months ago, where he pretty much threw Fox under the bus while discussing Disney’s quarterly earnings. “the Fox studio performance … was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition,” Iger said.
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Selangor Cyber Games Sets To Return This October: RM 215,000 Prize Pool Are On The Line

Since its inaugural edition in 2014, the Selangor Cyber Games (SCG) is one of the staple events not only for local esports enthusiasts but also for youth in Selangor. Earlier today, the Selangor Sports Council, Mineski Events Team Malaysia, and Big Machinez have officially announced the return of SCG for 2019.
Marking the 6th edition of the event, the SCG 2019 will be taking place on 26 and 27 October at Central i-City in Shah Alam. This time around, there will be four titles featured at the event including Dota 2, FIFA 20, PUBG Mobile, and Tekken 7.
Prize-wise, Dota 2 offers a total cash purse of RM 30,000 while RM 55,000 has been allocated for FIFA 20. As for PUBG Mobile which is officially supported by Tencent, RM 100,000 total cash purse will be up on the line and Tekken 7 winners will receive RM 30,000 in total.

However, the exact breakdown of the prizes was not yet revealed at the time this article is published. In terms of players slot, 128 team slots will be made available for Dota 2 with 8 teams will qualify to the final stage while PUBG Mobile will have 512 team slots with 11 top teams to compete in the final stage which will be mixed with 5 invited local professional teams.
FIFA 20 will also have 512 player slot and Tekken 7 will have a maximum limit of 128 players although the organizers are willing to open more slot if there are more demands.
According to Mineski’s representative, Dota 2 online qualifier will begin on 19 October while PUBG Mobile online qualifier will take place by 5 October. Meanwhile, gamers out there can visit SCG 2019’s official website right here for further information and updates.
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Why Joker Could Be the Best Comic Book Movie of the Year

What do we think about when we say ‘comic book movie’? It’s safe to say that most would immediately picture shredded heroes in tight attires and bombastic set pieces. At the centre of the genre are the likes Avengers: Endgame and Aquaman. Good films, yes, but relatively safe films. They’re spectacles with broad emotional beats that appeal to the widest possible audience.
But every now and then we get the rare gem of a comic book film that transcends the very genre itself — films that prove that perhaps comic book movies aren’t necessarily a genre but a form. Films that are crafted by an auteur of a singular vision. Fragments of art that are as much a piece of pure cinema as Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane or Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight comes to mind, a David Fincher-esque crime drama reminiscent of Se7en that just so happens to feature larger than life characters. James Mangold’s Western action-drama Logan is another one.
Joker promises to be one such film.

A Psychological Affair
Here we have a picture that — going off its marketing campaign, at least — isn’t interested in bombastic VFX or mind-blowing action blocks. Instead, it looks to be grounded and grimy, gritty and dirty, and an all-out ballsy affair that explores its characters in a nuanced manner. One that aims to provoke thought as much as emotions. Early reviews have suggested an unflinching and at times deeply uncomfortable narrative.
From Jack Nicholson’s version to Heath Ledger’s to Jared Leto’s, the big-screen adaptations have painted the iconic Batman comics villain as someone who’s unhinged. None, though, have explicitly showcased the character as someone who’s suffering from mental illness… until now.
Take this moment from the trailer:
Counsellor/therapist: I have some bad news for you. This is the last time we’ll be meeting.
Arthur Fleck (before he becomes Joker): You don’t listen do you? You just ask the same questions every week. How’s your job? Are you having any negative thoughts? All I have… are negative thoughts.

These are not the type of lines you’ll find in any ol’ comic book film. Joker is set to be a very, very dark film that deals with mature content. One that promises to dissect the mind of its lead character and place it under a microscope. Judging by what we’ve seen so far, Joker feels very much like an 80s Martin Scorsese picture (Todd Phillips has said that the film is inspired by Scorsese’s King of Comedy and Taxi Driver).
Interestingly enough, it’s directed by Todd Phillips, known for his work on… The Hangover franchise, Due Date and Road Trip. On the surface, the idea of a comedic director helming a serious crime film is a baffling one. An oddest of odd pairings.Then again, Jordan Peele was just the funny guy from Key & Peele and then he made Get Out and Us. John Krasinski was “that dude from The Office,” and then he gave us A Quiet Place. With that in mind, I can’t wait to see what Phillips has crafted here, especially since the screenplay is co-written by Scott Silver of The Fighter.
Supervillain Origin Story
From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins to the plethora of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve seen plenty of superhero origin stories in the past. Stories that centre around regular joes (or sometimes billionaire playboys) who find themselves tangled in a web of extraordinary circumstances that propel them into becoming superpowered beings we can all aspire to be. Last year, we even bore witness to an anti-hero origin story in Venom (though, the quicker we forget about that one, the better).
But a comic book supervillain origin story? Not quite. The closest thing we’ve got to that is perhaps in Avengers: Infinity War, where we caught a tiny glimpse of Thanos’ backstory, understood his motivations and felt his relationship with his daughter, Gamora.
Joker promises to be a different beast entirely. This would probably be the first time mainstream cinema (by today’s definition) takes a deep dive into the mind of a man who slowly descends into madness and morphs into a despicable supervillain.

The best villains are never the moustache-twirling ones who are interested in world domination simply because, rather the ones who we as an audience can understand and empathise with. We only have to watch a couple of episodes of Mindhunter to know that even (most) real-world serial killers aren’t born evil — they went through serious psychological trauma as children/adults which pushed them to become the deranged psychopaths that they are. It’s nature vs nurture.
Notice how the opening moments of the Joker trailer shows Arthur Fleck as a regular man making funny faces in a bus to entertain a little kid who’s sitting in front of him. He’s a clown, an entertainer, an aspiring comedian. But a series of events pushes him over the edge and changes him into a ruthless killer known as The Joker. What those events are, we’ll have to wait and see when the movie hits the big screen.

Besides, films like The Godfather and Goodfellas are so captivating because we’re shown the human side of these atrocious beings. We feel for the gangsters and murderers despite knowing that their moral compass is vastly different from ours.
Joaquin Phoenix and a Stellar Supporting Cast
Joaquin Phoenix is perhaps the most exciting thing about this project. When it was first announced that Phoenix was going to play The Joker, I was both aroused and shocked. Aroused because Phoenix is one of the most transformative actors working in world cinema today. He’s one of those performers who every time he walks in front of the camera leaves behind completely the actor and only brings with him the character, often to an unrecognisable degree. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call him the Daniel Day-Lewis of his generation. His chameleonic performances in Her, You Were Never Really Here and The Master will be talked about by film buffs and aspiring actors for decades to come.

Interestingly — and this is where the ‘I’m shocked’ part comes in — Joaquin Phoenix isn’t a very recognisable name outside of the cinephile circle, unlike say, Leonardo DiCaprio. Perhaps it’s because he rarely ever acts in mainstream films that receive wide international releases — his last was probably Gladiator almost 20 years ago. He’s never seen himself as a “movie star,” only an ACTEUR (yes, you’re supposed to read that with a French accent).
Phoenix is known to be exceptionally picky with his roles, so the fact that he actually agreed to act as the titular character of a popular brand immediately lends credibility to the film. So much so that director Todd Phillips actually said:
“The goal was never to introduce Joaquin Phoenix into the comic book movie universe. The goal was to introduce comic book movies into the Joaquin Phoenix universe.”
But it isn’t just Phoenix, it’s the stellar supporting cast as well. The most thrilling of the lot is, of course, Robert De Niro, who if this film was made in the 80s, would’ve been the leading man. These days, the 76-year-old actor spends a lot of his time acting in lighter/comedic films like The Intern and Dirty Grandpa. But in the 70s, 80s and 90s, he was the legendary Martin Scorsese’s go-to guy. From Mean Streets to Taxi Driver, to Raging Bull to Goodfellas to Casino, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro came together to gift us one all-time classic after another, mostly, of the crime genre. Interestingly enough, De Niro was the leading man in The King of Comedy, the film in which Joker is inspired from.

Joker is De Niro’s first venture into the realm of comic book movies and thinking of him having a back and forth with Joaquin Phoenix makes me salivate like a starving puppy. Joining De Niro to round up the supporting cast are the likes of Zazie Beetz (Deadpool), Marc Maron, Frances Conroy and Brett Cullen (The Blacklist) as Thomas Wayne.
Awards, Applauds & Accolades
All that is mentioned above is probably what led to the film receiving huge plaudits at major International Film Festivals. 2019 bore witness to the unprecedented — for the first time ever, a comic book film was screened at the ‘Gala Presentations’ of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The honour went to Joker and to put things into perspective, not even the likes of The Dark Knight and Logan were part of TIFF’s Gala Presentations.

Cameron Bailey, the co-head and artistic director of TIFF said:
“It’s gritty in its look. It has references to Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking and it feels like a cinematic achievement on a high level. Although it’s working with very populist material, it has great ambition.”
Apart from that, Joker reportedly also received an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, before eventually going on to win the festival’s top award: the Golden Lion. Past winners of this award include Roma (which later went on to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination and also won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar), Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water, and The Wrestler.
Official synopsis of Joker:
Director Todd Phillips Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
Joker is set to hit Malaysian cinemas on 3 October 2019.
*This article is brought to you by Warner Bros.
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Epic Games Paid Nearly Half Of Control’s Development Cost For Exclusivity

The Epic Games Store is, by now, infamous for its snagging of timed exclusives. Indie game developers and big name publishers also appear to be lining up to have their games be Epic exclusives. And now, it may be a little clearer as to why that’s the case.
Twitter user Daniel Ahmad shared what appears to be a financial statement for Digital Bros, as of 30 June 2019. That’s the parent company of 505 Games, which publishes Control, a game developed by Remedy Entertainment. From the statement, the game already made EUR9.49 million (~RM43.65 million), despite the game only launching on 27 August.

PC Games Insider also reports that the development budget for Control is somewhere between EUR20 million and EUR30 Million. This means that Epic Games paid between a third to nearly half the game’s development cost for EGS exclusivity. This is not yet counting the guarantee of sales to match the game’s potential sales figures on Steam.
With that kind of money on the table, it’s understandable why some developers take the exclusivity deal. One even said that doing so was a no brainer. With a few notable exceptions, that seems to be the common developer and publisher consensus.

The financial security may guarantee the success of the game, and may also massively improve the chance of a sequel. But on the flip side, it may also serve to make developers complacent with updates and bug fixes, as they no longer need to actually sell games.
(Source: Digital Bros [PDF] via Daniel Ahmed / Twitter, PC Games Insider via Metro UK, Destructoid. Image: Epic Games Store)
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Thanos and 7 Other Comic Book Villains Who Deserve Their Own Film

With the 3rd of October being just around the corner, Joker is set to revolutionize the comic book film genre as we know it. In the past, it used to be a fairly straightforward template with ordinary folks going through the typical monomythic journey of learning what it means to be a hero. From 1978’s Superman to 2011’s Captain America, our introduction into the genre has mostly been through the eyes of heroes. Then in the 2010s in a post-Dark Knight world, people became tired of their cookie-cutter crusaders. They wanted edgy. They wanted badass.
They wanted anti-heroes and boy did we get ‘em. From 2010’s Kickass to 2016’s Deadpool and Suicide Squad before hitting 2018’s Venom, we saw a modern wave of non-conventional heroes hitting the big screen. Most of them can be summed up in a simple catch-all phrase: asshole with a heart of gold. For all their dark edginess, there was something to be said about their cultural significance. They appealed to our sense of disillusionment and yet at the same to our virtue. They represented (some of them anyway) the moral complexities of real-life and our inherent struggle to do good in a bad world.
So it doesn’t seem so far-fetched that the audience would be ready to carry this sharper sense of empathy and moral ambiguity to the perspective of villains. And judging by the mostly positive buzz Joker has been receiving, it seems that we are indeed ready. Joker could be a pioneer for a new villain based subgenre. The catalyst to kickstart a new wave of films centered around villains. If Joker is a sign of things to come then we certainly have some future prospects in mind. Here’s a rundown of some comic book villains we believe deserve a film of their own.
1. Thanos
Believe or not, Thanos wasn’t born a genocidal maniac. In Infinity War, we see him reminisce of his homeworld, Titan. He shows Doctor Strange a glimpse of what the planet once was, a technologically advanced and thriving civilization. In time however, the planet began to decay as its people drained its resources and the planet was ravaged by disaster and civil unrest. All this due to overpopulation according to Thanos. He suggested having half the planet’s inhabitants wiped out to change their world’s course. He was exiled from society, seen as a madman. Soon enough his prophecies came true and Titan did indeed fall, leaving the world a barren wasteland. Nearly all life on Titan was wiped out. It was from this point on forth, Thanos would go on his crusade across the galaxy to make sure this never happened again. He will do the unthinkable. He will restore balance.

No one ever thinks themselves the villain of their own story and to Thanos’ credit, he was right about Titan’s fall. His motivations were not borne out of selfish ambition but rather out of concern and while his methods are dubious, he did, for the most part, seem genuine in his care. I’d love to see Thanos’ origins from concerned citizen to insane warlord on the big screen. There’s definitely more to his character than his Death-worshiping comic counterpart. Another aspect we never really saw was the aftermath of the genocide. Were some of the other planets’ standards of living improved due to his actions? Is there actually a case for Thanos? These questions deserve to be answered in the form of a movie.
2. Carnage
Some villains on this list we chose because of the incongruity between their purported virtues and their actions. Not Carnage though. Carnage is one evil batshit crazy son of a bitch and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s such a crying shame that not many folks are as aware Carnage as they are of his more popular foil, Venom. The guy seriously deserves some attention. Before he was Carnage, Cletus Kasady was born in an insane asylum while his mum was being given electroshock treatment…without anaesthetic. In 2018’s Web Of Venom: Carnage Born one-shot comic book, we learn that for nineteen minutes after birth, Kasady was dead and during that time he claimed to have gone to hell. Yikes, he later would grow up becoming a sadistic psychopath. He pushed his grandmother down the stairs killing her, tried to murder his mother with a toaster and shoved a girl making fun of him in front of a moving bus. Now that’s one bad seed.

If Sony ever wanted to break into the R-rated market, a Carnage psychological horror film would be a great place to start! It could be like Marvel’s own version of Silence of the Lambs. It starts with Cletus regaling a psychiatrist of his troubled past to his life as a serial killer to how his life changed when he got a hold of the Carnage symbiote to how he wound up back in a maximum-security prison on Rikers Island. All the while he’s hatching up a plan to break out every prisoner Spider-Man and Venom have placed behind bars!
3. Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is many things. A scientific genius, a masterful politician, the owner of a multi-billion dollar corporation, a generous philanthropist but above all else, a man. Yes, a mere mortal who had to push past an alcoholic father and life of poverty to build a tech empire that rivals that of Bruce Wayne’s. Yes, a man did all that. Not some alien who came crashing down on Earth with amazing powers and abilities handed to him. Not some demigod who struts around Metropolis revelling in the worship of his adoring fans. No, Lex believes himself to be what mankind should strive towards and Superman to be the enemy of that vision. Lex will stop at nothing to free his people from their dependency to the Man of Steel. He shall be their hero. That ladies and gentlemen is exactly how Lex Luthor views his himself and Superman.

Driven by both ego and hubris, Luthor is determined to show the world that Superman is not to be trusted and that he is mankind’s true messiah. We don’t want another brain-cell-murdering slugfest via Man of Steel or Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and we certainly don’t want that prepubescent Riddler knockoff of Lex. No, we want to see a film that shows two morally-principled men of integrity engage in a battle of wits with the audience rooting for Lex Luthor. The only way to truly destroy Superman is to create a world where he’s no longer wanted, or needed. Since Warner Bros. is branching out into the realm of psychological thrillers with Joker, why not a political drama detailing the rise and fall of one of the greatest villains in comic book history? Please, in the name of all that is good and pure, get Bryan Cranston on it!
4. Magneto
One of the most developed and rewarding character arcs I’ve seen throughout Fox’s X-Men saga would be Erik Lehnsherr’s transformation into the radical mutant advocate and extremist Magneto. In First Class, we witnessed first hand his disillusionment with the human race with his Jewish family being murdered and his powers experimented on by the Nazis. When mutants finally entered public consciousness, they were met with fear and disdain. Erik once again felt his righteous rage rising again as it did in the camps of Auschwitz. Like Moses to the Israelites, he sees himself as the leader to his people. He will secure the future of mutantdom at all cost. Whether it be through isolation in the form of the mutant nation of Genosha or through domination as seen in his cooperation with Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse.

As much as I hate to say it, Magneto does have a point. Charles Xavier and his X-Men’s dream of peaceful coexistence has made them prey to the world. What if we got a chance to see Magneto’s dream of a better world come to fruition? Would it truly be the hateful nightmare Charles envision it would be? It’s an idea that definitely warrants exploration. In the past, Disney has toyed with this idea of revolutionary utopia in the character of Erik Killmonger. Unfortunately, it never came to pass. Seeing that they now have access to the X-Men and have a chance to set a new status quo for mutants. Show us something new Disney. Show us something revolutionary.
5. Red Hood
Bruce Wayne is a man who plans for everything. From battle tactics to forensic analysis. From boardroom meetings to advanced interrogation techniques. Over Gotham, the Dark Knight watches all from the shadows but he definitely didn’t see this coming. He didn’t expect the Joker to go as far as murdering his second Robin, Jason Todd. He didn’t expect that he wouldn’t be able to arrive in time to save him. He didn’t expect to move on but he did. He certainly didn’t expect a new crime lord to rise to the surface with a deadly arsenal of skills and weapons that rival even that of his. He didn’t expect to see a resurrected Jason Todd come back to claim the mantle of Gotham’s protector. He didn’t expect the Red Hood!

Jason Todd’s Red Hood is Batman’s greatest failure, back from the dead to haunt him. A vengeful son coming for the sins of his father. If you’ve seen the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood, then you know what a bonafide badass Todd is and how screwed up his code of ethics are. A Red Hood film is a unique opportunity to tell a story of Batman’s greatest regret through the perspective of a Robin gone rogue. Next to the Joker, Jason Todd is easily one of Batman’s greatest villains to date. Watch the student become the master.
6. Steve Rogers/ Captain Hydra
Yes, you are reading that right. In Marvel’s 2017 comic book event Secret Empire, we see the Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to alter the very history of Steve Rogers. We see how the plucky Steve Rogers was inducted into the ranks of HYDRA through his mother encountering a seemingly kind and helpful agent. After years of indoctrination, he infiltrated into the US military and became a candidate for Project Rebirth and became Captain America. His years of loyal service was all a ruse to cripple the hero community from within. He then became director of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the authority to declare martial law under his rule. The Red Skull was cast aside as Rogers rose to power, bringing about a new age of peace and order to the world. The icon has fallen and in its stead, a tyrant!

While we are aware that Chris Evans’ contract with Marvel Studios has ended, we still believe that if given a juicy enough role, we may see him don the red, white and blue again. A Secret Empire film would be an epic subversion of the Captain America story we’ve all come to know and love. I mean we already saw a tiny hint of it in Endgame when we hear Steve say “Hail Hydra”. Imagine the audience’s face when they realize that the very symbol of nobility and justice has been secretly an authoritarian fascist this whole time. It’s the secret history of Captain America and would single-handedly be the most shocking reveal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) thus far.
7. Vandal Savage
Before there was Batman, Superman and the Justice League, there was Vandal Savage. He was once a caveman in prehistoric times but after being exposed to the radiation of a crashed meteor, his higher senses and intellectual functions were awakened. The rays also granted him near-invincibility and immortality. He was the Earth’s first immortal, older than Ra’s Al Ghul and far wiser. Throughout history, he would build empires, assume a number of important positions of power and most importantly, create major conflicts to test man’s evolutionary capabilities. He isn’t just DC’s Apocalypse knockoff. Unlike the mutant, the man has actually defended Earth on a number of occasions from invaders as seen in Young Justice: Outsiders. Though he is most certainly an adversary of the Justice League.

If the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) ever wanted to get serious and actually set up a compelling villain worthy of the Justice League, Savage would be a top contender. A Vandal Savage film is an excellent way for DC to build up their world’s history by showing us the secret organizations and the lesser-known aspects of the DCEU. He is a man of both science and technology, while also being aware of the realm of magic and sorcery. The ideal route would be a series of anthological stories that see the man’s hand in history. We could see him ruling the Babylonian empire, battling with the League of Shadows for dominion and finally culminating with him creating the Legion of Doom with Lex Luthor’s assistance.
8. The Green Goblin
If there was ever a Marvel version of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, it would undoubtedly be Norman Osborn. The man runs a billion-dollar tech and research corporation by day and goes around dressed up as a cackling goblin based villain by night. The guy impales people with his Goblin Gliders, vaporizes folks with pumpkin bombs and drops women to their death. Yeah…it’s safe to say Mr Osborn isn’t exactly the sanest person out there, which is why personally I think his character would make for a great dark comedy. He’s your average business tycoon, doing mergers and having meetings, but he feels like something’s missing. As if he needs something to break the monotony of his day-to-day life. One day he sees Spider-Man on the news and he thinks to himself, “Maybe I’ll have some fun with him.”

He steals his son’s old Halloween costume, modifies it and goes on a rampage across town while doing his very best to avoid detection. During one of his scholarship ceremonies, he encounters one of the recipients and has a strange, oddly familiar, feeling about him. That young scholar is none other than Peter Parker. The two of them play their game of cat-and-mouse off and on the streets of New York. Eventually, however, Norman begins to suspect Peter to be Spider-Man and vice versa. The two of them meet up at Harry’s birthday party and the shit is about to hit the fan! Since Sony is longer obligated to keep with the tone of the MCU, they could try to experiment with their characters more. we think a Green Goblin film is a great place to start.
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Huawei Mate 30 Pro Hands-On: More Than Just A Quad-Camera Phone

Huawei’s launch of its Mate 30 series was a significant moment for the brand in several way; it’s the first generation of Mate series to ship without Google’s Media services, thanks in no small part to the on-going trade war between the US and China.
As these things go, the Mate 30 Pro is the premium version of the two Mate 30s. Beyond this point, we’re entering Mate 30RS Porsche Design territory, and that’s a story for another day.
To recap on the hardware, the Mate 30 Pro runs on Huawei’s new Kirin 990 SoC. As announced during Huawei’s keynote, the chipset comes in two flavours: one with 5G support, and one without. On that note, there’s also a 5G variant of the Mate 30 Pro that Huawei will make available depending on the region.

On a side note, Huawei’s CEO, Richard Yu, made brief mention of the rest of the phone’s specifications. To my knowledge, both the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro run on 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, while the internal storage capacity of the latter was listed as just 256GB. However, I did hear words on the floor that a variant with 512GB internal storage capacity is on the way.
Let’s move on to another topic; the size of the Mate 30 Pro. At 6.53-inches, it isn’t as cumbersome to handle as one would imagine. It’s longer than it is wide, and because of that, I have no problem with handling the phone with just one hand. On that note, the phone’s new Horizon Display is a thing of beauty. The curvature of the display edges is more extreme than the ones on the Galaxy Note10+’s display, but the reason for that can be summed up in two words: Side Touch.

Side Touch reminds me of HTC’s Edge Sense, but unlike the latter, Side Touch requires significantly less squeezing. And while it is designed to perform a couple of functions, it’s primarily designated as a replacement for the physical volume rocker. Simply tap twice on either edge, and out comes the volume slider.
The other function of Side Touch is to act as a virtual shutter button for the Mate 30 Pro, but from what I’ve seen, it’s only for the selfie camera. Believe me, I looked for a way to use it a shutter button for the main camera, but no, it just wasn’t there.

Then brings us to the Mate 30 Pro’s new main quad-camera. Specs-wise, the phone sports a 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide Cine camera, a 40MP f/1.6 SuperSensing Camera, an 8MP f/2.4 Telephoto lens with OIS, and a 3D depth-sensing camera instead of the laser focus used in the Mate 30.
As one has come to expect of a Huawei smartphone since the P9, taking beautiful shots with the Mate 30 Pro is effortless as it is intuitive. Like the P30 Pro, it’s got the same long-range zoom function, but instead 50x times zoom, it’s limited to just 30x times, and frankly, that’s plenty.

Photography aside, the Mate 30 Pro’s Cine camera marks the first time Huawei putting an emphasis on filming and video recording. More specifically, recording in 4k resolution at 60 fps, and capturing time-lapse in 4K HDR+.
And just when you think 960 fps super slow motion was the highest a device can achieve, the Mate 30 Pro pulls a proverbial rabbit out of the hat by introducing a staggering 7680 fps. At those frame rates, every movement captured on camera comes to a standstill. Of course, there are some prerequisites shooting at those frames. For a start, the video resolution only goes as high as 720p. The second requirement is ample lighting; most of the samples we shot on the phone were outdoors and during the day.
I didn’t really spend much time in this area, but my colleague will be releasing his own hands-on video about the phone soon, so keep an eye out for it.

I want to tell you about the Mate 30 Pro in a life without Google Media services. Unfortunately, I’m only able to talk about this later. What I can tell you is that, at the very least, both devices still run with the latest Android 10 OS as a base with Huawei’s EMUI 10.
Ultimately, the Mate 30 Pro is a good phone, and a major improvement over its predecessor. From the new chipset to the quad-camera module and its SuperSensing And Cine sensors, there’s little reason for me not to suggest the phone to photographers and videographers alike. On the other hand, the lack of Google Media Services due to the US’ executive order makes it both a deciding factor and hard sell to consumers long accustomed to digital service.

That said, we’re still looking forward to playing around with the device, so look forward to our review.

Photography by Jin Soh.
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ASUS ROG Phone II To Launch In Malaysia On 16 October

Originally announced to the world back in July, ASUS finally has the concrete launch date for its ROG Phone II in Malaysia. As posted on the Facebook page for ASUS ROG Malaysia, the new gaming phone will be making its debut in Malaysia this coming October.
To those who are not familiar with ROG Phone II, you could easily mistake it for the original ROG Phone model since both devices share the same design language although the 2nd generation model actually features a wider 6.59-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display. The screen also has 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, HDR support, and Delta E ≦1 colour accuracy as well as an in-display fingerprint scanner.

Powered by the beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, the Malaysian variant of ROG Phone II is also equipped with 12GB of RAM as standard. Gamers can also choose to obtain it with either 512GB or 1TB internal storage.
The ROG Phone II also features 48MP and 13MP rear cameras as well as 24MP selfie camera and 6000mAh battery. With that, do stay tuned for further details from ASUS on 16 October as the company unveiled its latest mobile gaming beast in Malaysia.
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Ad Astra Review: Brad Pitt Shines in a Somewhat Mundane Affair

A friend of mine asked me how Ad Astra matches up to other ‘space’ films. It’s difficult to compare. It isn’t as dramatic as Interstellar or thrilling as Gravity. It does at times resemble Stanley Kubrick’s classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, but not nearly as thought-provoking. I guess the best way to put it would be that it’s like 2018’s First Man only more introspective with way fewer characters. Here too we have an astronaut, Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who’s brilliant at and obsessed with his job but struggles to maintain a healthy relationship with anybody, not because he’s an asshole, but because he’s detached from his emotions.
Early on in the film, we see him take a psychological evaluation — “I will not allow myself to be distracted by unimportant things,” he tells the AI. One of these things is his wife. We see her leaving Roy, but even then the camera focuses only on him. Director James Gray (The Lost City of Z) places his wife (Liv Tyler) in the background, a blur and at a distance.

One day, there’s a power surge and we bear witness to a wonderfully staged and most heart-pounding (okay, maybe it’s less pounding and more soft-beating) set pieces of the film. Our heart races as we see a number of astronauts feel fall to their death. His heart remains as calm as doldrum. The power surge, his superiors theorise, is probably caused by members of The Lima Project, led by his dad (Tommy Lee Jones), who went on an expedition years ago and never came back. Roy, because of his apparent nonexistent emotional gradient and ability to maintain robotic composure even during the direst of circumstances is deemed the most suitable man for the mission — To journey across the solar system, locate his missing father and stop the power surges.
But this isn’t an exciting space adventure film. It’s about a man self-actualising, getting in touch with his feelings and confronting his greatest idol and bane of his life, his dad. In Ad Astra outer space is less the point and more a vessel for a character study. Brad Pitt is stellar as this central character. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt’s sexiness pierced through the screen like a Katana and impregnated members of the audience (even the men) like it was 1999. Here, that sexiness is gone. It isn’t that they’ve covered him in prosthetics or heavy make-up — he still looks like Brad Pitt.
But his energy is vastly different. His vibe is different. Pitt performs this emotionally hollow character so well, Ryan Gosling may now be out of a job. (I take that back. Ryan Gosling is the best.) It’s like his soul had been sucked out by the dementors from Harry Potter. Yet you know his heart is not completely barren. Maybe it’s his eyes? Whatever it is, you know that deep down in his heart, there’s a little something called ‘feeling’ simmering.

The problem is, despite its intriguing premise, Ad Astra is quite the mundane affair.
Look, I love quiet, slow-burn films. Ex Machina is perhaps one of my favourite films ever. But a film like Ex Machina constantly keeps us on our toes — we’re desperate to know what happens next. But here, scene to scene to scene, hardly anything interesting happens.
There are no arousing notions to think about. It doesn’t challenge you to question your own belief system. James Gray and his co-writer Ethan Gross do touch on theology and philosophy, but it feels oddly out of place given that it’s a Sci-Fi film, a genre where these topics usually thrive. When the captain dies, prayers are said, but it doesn’t feel organic. It’s meant to be a ponderous scene but it feels jarring. The talk of higher power feels pretentious because there’s no depth to it. Every once in awhile, though, something crazy happens… sporadic action beats to jolt you out of your seat and sometimes have your eyes wide open in bafflement and wonder. There’s a WTF scene involving apes. They’re much needed bright spots.

I also love reflective single character films like 127 Hours, Cast Away and Wild. But there, the characters are raw, they express. We feel their struggles, pain and suffering. We understand them. Root for them. But because here, our lead character is so emotionally distant, it’s difficult for us to get emotionally invested or stay engaged. A character of this nature worked in First Man, because there Neil Armstrong (my man Gosling) was surrounded by regular people and the contrasting nature of the characters made it gripping. Who can forget the emotionally climactic argument sequence between Gosling and Claire Foy?
Here, we don’t get that contrast. In fact, we only get to know Pitt’s Roy McBride through melancholic voiceovers, without which Pitt probably has less than 20 lines. I get that it’s part of his arc, but it doesn’t change the fact. Yes, we do get bursts of emotion in the climax, but because we aren’t connected to what happened before, it doesn’t play out as a crescendo. The conclusion of the father-son dynamic works better on paper than on screen. (Though, Tommy Lee Jones is excellent in this sequence).

I do, however, have to compliment the technical achievement of the film. The screenplay may not offer much, but James Gray’s direction deserves applause. This is an environment film. It’s quiet, still, meditative. You feel it! The cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema (Dunkirk, Interstellar, Her) is still too. There are plenty of gorgeous wide shots that encapsulate the vastness and quietness of space. The score, by Max Ritcher, doesn’t blare through the speakers — like Roy’s emotions, it simmers. If there’s one thing James Gray does really well, is that he makes you feel lonely and isolated like the lead character. Too bad he made me feel a little sleepy too.
Ad Astra is currently playing in Malaysian theatres.
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