Category Archives: Movies

Movie news and reviews

Time Warner & CBS Blackout : Again Consumers Hurt by Cable Company aka Middle Man

Time Warner Cable has recently blacked out the CBS network in some of its Cable TV markets. CBS, in turn, blocks streaming videos of blacked out TV shows for Time Warner Cable Internet subscribers. Time Warner continues to collect full, monthly fees from its subscribers while the channel lineup is now hobbled. While CBS continues to collect full advertising revenue. So who gets hurt? The consumer. Paying full price and getting less and less.

What’s happening? This doesn’t seem right.

In the day of high speed internet and digital home theater systems with Internet enabled TVs, set top boxes and game consoles, why can’t we get on demand, a la cart content? Because your local cable provider has the content providers (networks such as NBC, CBS, HBO, CNN, etc) wrapped up in non-compete deals, even if just implicit. Leaving the consumers with little choice but to buy “channel packages” from the Cable Providers. Hundreds of worthless channels simply because you want the local stations, History Channel and HBO (like me).

What can we do about it? DROP YOUR CABLE SUBSCRIPTIONS.

Recently, the CEO of HBO ‘publicly considered’ offering HBO as a standalone subscription service. YAY! This sounds great. I’d pay $10-$15 per month for this. Unfortunately, he decided not to. Maybe it doesn’t make good business sense to give more customers what they want.

Thankfully, more and more consumers are becoming “cord cutters” and getting rid of cable. Hopefully, we can get even more consumers to follow until all your cable company provides is a nice, fast, reliable Internet connection. On top of which you watch TV and make/recieve phone calls.

This technology has been available for years. The content distribution networks are in place. Now, it’s up to the consumers to stop paying the “middle man.”

By the way, CBS is not innocent in all of this. They’re equally greedy. By the way, why does Time Warner have to pay CBS when you can get an antenna and watch it for free? Because when there’s a middle man everyone wants to make money from their business model…that is now antiquated and getting in the way of progress.

Prometheus…Visually Stunning…Storyline, Not So Much

Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors, and I was truly excited to see his latest space thriller, “Prometheus.” As usual, Scott never ceases to wow the audience with visuals and suspense. However that’s about all there was to appreciate, aside from a story that started out interesting and ended up…well, it just ended up.

When Scott’s now classic space-horror, “Alien,” was released in 1979 it was an original. Movie-goers had never seen such a spectacle on the screen. The story didn’t need to have depth as the rest of the thrills were enough to carry the film and leave viewers stunned.

In the days of Avatar, Gladiator and even Jurassic Park, however, the audience has ‘seen-it-all’ and viewers demand more depth to the story. It seems that once the horror aspect of the film began, the story ended. Special effects are great, but they’re common enough that the story needs to be satisfying. Visual effects are to support the story, not to be the story.

Without giving anything away, I can only call this film a modern-day “Alien Redux.” I also saw “Prometheus” in 3D, and the visuals were all the better for it. Unfortunately, the 3rd dimension wasn’t enough to justify the relatively empty storyline.

Please Beware of Netflix Scam

Can someone explain to me why, when visiting the Netflix site as a guest, as in without a paying account, why their “Browse Selection” search results show more available titles than when you’re logged in as a paying customer?

Let me explain. I had a Netflix account for a couple years, then, after the DVD fiasco last year combined with hearing that the Starz movie selection would be removed, I realized that the selection of titles I would be interested not only hasn’t grown…not a bit…not in months and months, but that some of my favorite titles would be removed.
Continue reading Please Beware of Netflix Scam

For Conservatives, Freedom Is Of Utmost Importance…At Least Until It Affects The Bottom Line

The biggest Internet names are talking about joining forces in an effort to raise awareness for SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. This is a measure your lawmakers are contemplating passing into law while you’re reading this. Supported primarily by large record labels, movie studios and conservatives in Washington, SOPA would essentially allow judges to arbitrarily order any website to block any content it chooses.

Sound scary? It is. Continue reading For Conservatives, Freedom Is Of Utmost Importance…At Least Until It Affects The Bottom Line

Boxee for Mac, PC and Linux Discontinued

Boxee LogoA few days ago Boxee announced two things…1) There will be a new release of Boxee for PC, Mac and Linux coming, and 2) That will be the final release of the Mac, PC and Linux version.

The reasons stated indicate that Boxee believes the future of the Home Theater will become increasingly centered on the Set Top Box and less on Home Theater PCs. This is a non-sensical and simply untrue statement as hardware manufacturers, lawmakers, and most importantly consumers are all heading quite aggressively in the opposite direction of closed media solutions.

More and more Home Theater PCs are flying off the shelves and nearly all Video Card models and manufacturers include HDCP support (allowing you to connect your computer to a TV and play encrypted content…with proper sources). Continue reading Boxee for Mac, PC and Linux Discontinued