Posts Tagged ‘movies’

HOT vs YES

April 10, 2010

a big dilemma

we have hot triple play. no HD yet.

it is a good practice to call them once a year and re-negotiate the extra packages: sports, HBO, kids…

will try it next week and update if anything good happens

a big issue for me is movies. who offers the best ones?

seems to me YES is the big winner here. HOT movie channels are abysmal. few countries or regions in the world offer such a shitty package for such a high price as HOT. same on them and the regulator who is supposed to protect us. VOD is better, but they can really improve the selection. and the selection process. it still takes about 20 movies for several people sitting around the living room to decide on a movie. and then someone falls asleep.

Magic is a wonderful product. Magic.

if you read haaretz movie recommendations every friday regarding what to record in the following week, for many many weeks in a row, most of the recommendations where exclusive to Yes with some movies shared on both HOT and YES at similar times or slight difference (Friday vs Saturday). this happens too often and also raises a question as to why. i have a sneaky feeling there is some coloration, or perhaps anti-trust issues involved, but i may be really ignorant on this matter. what do you think?

anyhow, this friday’s haaretz summary has  much more HOT movies than YES’. this is great! keep it up, HOT. do not stay HOT, stay hot.

HOT V.O.D

February 28, 2010

i really love the idea of VOD

especially if there would be a much larger selection

when i worked in ECI, in 1991, my room-mate guy went down under to australia to try and sell a VOD system

it is now 20 years later

However, the VOD experience still sucks:

  • you wait too long.
  • the system gets jammed to often.
  • till you find and ‘download’ a movie it takes 20 minutes (just slightly less than the trip to blockbuster)
  • dear customer, please unplug the devise and wait. and wait, and wait. now, plug back

the real genius of hot VOD, (and comcast as i experienced it in NewHaven last year) is that the service providers have reached a perfect equilibrium of poor service, but just good enough. they have really mastered that one.

just a bit worse, and many would leave, i would like to think. or, maybe we are all just lazy suckers who want to be mastered by service providers who silently reach into our pocket every month.

what efficiency! i salute them and despise them at the same time. how dare they?!!

i am sure there is another equilibrium point in which we as customers are much more satisfied, cost are not higher, and prices are lower, too. with much more usage. go for “חבילת מתעקשים ומרווחים”.

perhaps it will happen faster if we disconnect and stream on-line.

advise welcomed

If

February 24, 2010

rudyard kipling, i believe, is best remembered for the jungle book and for wining the noble prize

if you did not receive this poem on a fake parchment skin (קלף עור) for some birthday in the late 70’s. perhaps it is a good time to read it

Kipling is said to have written the poem ‘If’ with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The ‘Jameson Raid’ was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).

a great movie about the boers  war is breaker morant which i think of often in regards to the goldstone report

And on a different subject, here’s a demonstration of the power of your own brain, which makes a jumbled use of Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem ‘If’.

‘if’ by rudyard kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

from businessballs:

Rudyard Kipling’s (1865-1936) inspirational poem ‘If’ first appeared in his collection ‘Rewards and Fairies’ in 1909.

‘If’ is perhaps even more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it, as an ethos and a personal philosophy. Lines from Kipling’s ‘If’ appear over the player’s entrance to Wimbledon’s Centre Court – a poignant reflection of the poem’s timeless and inspiring quality.

The beauty and elegance of ‘If’ contrasts starkly with Rudyard Kipling’s largely tragic and unhappy life. He was starved of love and attention and sent away by his parents; beaten and abused by his foster mother; and a failure at a public school which sought to develop qualities that were completely alien to Kipling. In later life the deaths of two of his children also affected Kipling deeply.

Rudyard Kipling achieved fame quickly, based initially on his first stories and poems written in India (he returned there after College), and his great popularity with the British public continued despite subsequent critical reaction to some of his more conservative work, and critical opinion in later years that his poetry was superficial and lacking in depth of meaning.

Significantly, Kipling turned down many honors offered to him including a knighthood, Poet Laureate and the Order of Merit, but in 1907 he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kipling’s wide popular appeal survives through other works, notably The Jungle Book (1894) the novel, Kim (1901), and Just So Stories (1902).

plastics

February 9, 2010

plastics is not only the future

(boy, i liked that movie -the graduate. for its music, its promise and pressure of the future, and for its lack of predictability. and a great depiction of a great time period)

it is also an answer to a deep philosophical question:

why are we here?

George Carlin – Saving the Planet

JD Salinger and dry dates

January 30, 2010

JD Salinger, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature is gone

a few thoughts:

  • i may or may not be still in my adolescence, but agree with holden that most adults are “phony”
  • where do the central park lagoon ducks go during winter? they have a recluse in the park
  • it is hard to walk in Central Park and not think of holden, the book and my brother, Ofer, who connected to its loneliness so fully

for trivia lovers, worth while to read on

DRY DATES

JD salinger had a broken heart. this is where some of the best art comes from

out of fracture, comes greatness.

the girl’s name?

oona o’neill daughter of of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning  playwriter  Eugene O’Neill and writer Agnes Boulton.

for those who may remember, O’neill was played by  Jack Nicholson in the movie Reds (for a review of this great film, click here)(along side the fantastic Diane Keaton). which directly makes me think of Reds’ star, co-writer, producer and director Warren Beatty about whom Carly Simon sang, ‘You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you’. more about beatty simon and their dates in a second.

oona o’neill also dated

  • cartoonist Peter Arno,
  • director Orson Welles,
  • (and as stated above, author J. D. Salinger). To Salinger’s disappointment, however, their relationship ended when she met
  • Charlie Chaplin and later become Lady Chaplin, (therefore Salinger’s broken heart).

arno who perhaps is least known today was multi-talented, rich, and handsome.  He exuberated confidence. his sketches were funny, satirical, unique and risky. like the one above.

anyhow, seems that oona had something about her

Beatty

Beatty has had several high-profile relationships with his costars, including Natalie Wood (Splendor in the Grass), Julie Christie (McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait), Diane Keaton (Reds), Isabelle Adjani (Ishtar) and Madonna (Dick Tracy).

not bad

back to carly simon

who i think is totally wonderful

is also well known for “Anticipation“, which was used as the soundtrack for TC commercials  for Heinz ketchup in the 1970s. The song relates Simon’s state of mind as she waits to go on a date with Cat Stevens. After their brief liaison during 1970-1971 ended amicably, Stevens wrote his song “Sweet Scarlet” about Simon, who also had highly publicized relationships with Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson, and James Taylor during this period.

Oona dated cartoonist Peter Arno, director Orson Welles, and author J. D. Salinger.[citation needed] To Salinger’s disappointment, however, their relationship ended when she met Charlie Chaplin

4 minutes

January 24, 2010

i you have not seen the movie ‘vier minuten’, you should consider it.

here is a clip

one of my takeaways:

out of fracture comes greatness

even better a few years later

December 5, 2009

not talking about wine.

saw four funerals and a wedding late at night with my daughter and her boyfriend.

what a setup…

enjoyed. perhaps more than the first time.

here are 4 reasons to see it, and one not to:

ONE richard curtis does a wonderful job with the script. love, missed love, bad timing, hopeless love, funny at the tough spots. british, yet not.

TWO surprisingly one of the most touching moments for me was the funeral.

good acting. sad. to the heart. “ this is actually what i wanted to say

THREE Andie MacDowell or Kristine Scott Thomas? who adds more to this film?  Andie, in this flick, is about as sexy as any woman can be – easy! can not find a greater beauty. still, i think Kristine come out full of character. because it is tough to be a good number 2, the supporting actress, with out challenging or stealing the show from the top actress. and because of this. no competition

it is not Charlie and Lola.

it is about love

about how once you love someone, you can not love someone else until this one goes away (i actually disagree, but know the feeling).

about when love finally happens, (a strange thing), a moment of magic that will never go away.

FOUR because the plan, the script, is simple. when asked a question say ‘i do’.

i like it when the truth comes out.

who speaks when told ‘speak now or forever hold your peace?’ no one. and who keeps it to themselves?

and  a reason not to see the movie

rowan atkinson. so what if he is friends with Richard Curtis?

revolutionary road

November 8, 2009

just saw the movie revolutionary road for the 2nd time, and i think it is better than i remembered.

my friend Moshe says movies should be watched twice. the first time is to get the plot out of the way. especially for us israelis who spend most of the time looking at the subtitles at the bottom of the frame.

kate winslet is becoming one of my favorite actresses.

mike shannon, was nominated for best supporting actor  because of this scene. seems a bit of an underrated actor. expect great things from him.

check out this scene. extremely powerful

i love it when ‘the truth’ comes out.

it is there. we all know it. we do not forget its existence. we just live every day to hide it. deeper. then, it pops out. when you least expect it.

i believe most people like the truth in small doses. the beauty of this scene is that it comes in large portions. ‘super-size’. a bit too much to swallow.dreams are crushed.

the price people pay to live within expectations of others.

innovation is over-valued, execution is under-valued

September 22, 2009

Lately i spend a great deal of time thinking about THE GAP between VC mindset and entrepreneur mind set.

this includes CEOs of VC backed companies, my portfolio included, and not just CEO/entrepreneurs of companies trying to raise money.

what i find is that people are fascinated with innovation way too much.

and boy, that is understandable.

innovation is fun.

as Israelis we love to think out side-of-the-box and to behave outside of any process or methodology. as my mom likes to say, i’m special

in addition, a real innovative product or service offering

  • is differentiated
  • can redeem premium pricing
  • is attractive for M+A purposes
  • is defensible

HOWEVER

many people, especially customers,

  • do not like innovation
  • do not like to change their ways
  • do not like to buy from start-ups, unless they have to do so
  • do not like the risk that comes with innovation

this actually creates an innovation barrier in customers mind.

what are the keys to break this barrier?

i would love to hear your thoughts

but, what is clear to me is that execution is a great way to show that you have figured things out

  • you promise a OEM partnership with in 6 month?  make it happen
  • customers can see value in the product within hours?  wow
  • the product can be installed in 1 hour by a channel partner sales engineer? you will scale

my belief is that in the software world these are the sources for differentiation and the keys to success much more than how innovative is the product.

at this point in time, in the israeli hi-tech market, execution is much more rare than innovation.

city island

August 31, 2009

how would you like to live on an island, but in a city?

well, in the bronx, NYC, there is an island. one bridge connects it to the city. it is called city island

last week we went to see the movie city island. Limor my wife, Carmel our oldest daughter, Ran our friend and myself. not a usual combination

in short, what ‘The Breakfast Club‘ did to high school, ‘The Big Chill‘ to post college life, City Island does to family 20 years into this life long exploration. check out this scene between the kids ‘ you shut up. no, you shut up‘. Ezra Miller is wonderful, and i predict will be a big name.

it is unusual to laugh real hard and cry in the same movie. i did

there are some great themes in this movie:

  • fulfilling dreams
  • what happens when great secrets come out
  • trusting someone who does not expect it
  • challenging societies values, and perhaps regretting it

Raymond de Filleta does a wonderful job as writer and director.

this movie is an independent movie and you will not much about it unless you look for it. very little press coverage and reviews to date.

yet another reason to go see the movie