On Flight and Argo

A few weeks back I went with a buddy to see a movie. We were angling to see Flight for which the trailers made look somewhat like an adventure-drama. Turns out it was opening night and the movie was full save for those souls who would sit in the front row and make like baby cows with their noses in the air searching for mommy. Not caring for the neck ache we returned to the theater closer to the hotel and saw Argo instead.

What a great choice that ended up being. Argo is a fantastic tale told very well. The filmmakers did a wonderful job taking this based on real events tale and turning it into a riveting adventure story. Cutting in actual footage in key places gives it the sense of realism. Of course the film's relationship with history is only good when matched against a tale like Peter and the Wolf. The bits of history woven in, however, lend great credibility to the drama and make the film great. It is worth taking a busy afternoon in the holiday season and seeing this film.

Bye Bye Netflix

Today was the end for Netflix. Not to worry the company still exists as far as I know. But we're through. Just over seven years ago we jumped on the movie rental service's subscription. It's been a rocky road in places. Sure they love us when we don't actually watch any movies and they get a $20 bill every month. However when we go through periods where we watch a few movies a day they quickly forget that they've gotten years worth of months where we watched nothing and start rate-limiting us and playing games.

Demand and supply

Business Week reports WalMart is unhappy with the suggestion that the movie studios may be considering distributing movies through Apple's iTunes Music store.

The problem for WalMart is they are living in an ongoing brick and mortar dream world. iTunes certainly has it's detractor and some are worried about the restrictions of DRM. For many of us, though, we're perfectly willing to deal with the limits in exchange for the extreme convenience. We don't shop at WalMart but do frequent both Target and various bookstores that have music sections. Every once in a while I will even browse through the music collection (usually at the bookstore). If I find something interesting I'll make a note, or take a picture with the camera in my cell phone, and go home to purchase it from iTunes.

Back in the Compact Disc era I had several albums of The Beatles. I like listening to The Beatles. I ripped the albums into my iTunes library and still listen to them from time to time. However, since I cannot easily get their music from iTunes Music Store, The Beatles now make up an ever smaller portion of my music library and listening time. I could relatively easily buy a CD or two but the fact that I can readily find new and interesting music without the hassle and with no need to find a place to store the plastic artifacts of the data I want.

WalMart is ready to play the heavy in the way they always have. What they are missing, however, is that the brick and mortar rules have changed.

Catching up

We watched Life as a House tonight. A great movie with so much to say about the dash in between - the part where all too often we spend too little of our time. Ironically while watching the movie I got an email from a childhood friend. He'd written a few weeks back and then computer problems prevented his getting back in touch. It has been great getting caught up on all the happenings of life and a reminder of just how small the world really is. My friend's brother now lives in the same town in Japan where my father spent his high school years. A small world indeed - just without the terrible music.

The preview test

Sitting down to watch Closer. The preview test - how good do the previews look - suggests it should be a good movie.

War of the Worlds

When I saw the movie version of Phantom of the Opera earlier this year I thought it would be impossible to see a classic story so badly made into a movie. Of course I hadn't seen War of the Worlds which definitely makes it a tough choice for worst DVD of the year.


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