Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

Risky Business: News Corp. To Charge For Online Content

The Last Mogul will either be the first innovator or...the last mogul.

The "Last Mogul" will either be the first innovator or...the last mogul.

It happens in many of our favorite action movies. The hero has been outsmarted. He’s up against the wall and the pirate/ninja/dragon/girlfriend has the upper hand. The hero is out of options. Will we see him fall? Assuredly so…unless …unless of course he can pull off the riskiest of moves. He has no other options but to swing on a rope onto another ship/use a forbidden martial arts move that could leave him defenseless or deal a fatal blow/roll underneath the beast, avoid napalm-like flame and plunge his sword deep into its belly/feign sickness to get out of the scrabble triple date. This is the news industry. It’s zero hour. And it’s their move.

And so it is amidst these dire circumstances that Rupert Murdoch decided that his success with the Wall Street Journal is enough to test the waters of monetizing online news across all of his newspapers by June 2010. The New York Post, the UK’s Times and the Sun, and Australia’s Daily Telegraph are just some of the newspapers he owns besides the WSJ.

As I blogged about a couple of weeks ago some companies are trying to get ahead of this coming wave of news organizations trying to figure out how to receive revenue for quality journalism. The trick is that they must provide a price point or a pay model that retains enough readers so that advertisers don’t jump ship. Whether news organizations use an intermediary or develop their own system, it’s clear that they will have to create a delicate balance between opposing forces.

If Murdoch succeeds? Besides inflating his ego, it will save newspapers. Plain and simple. In an era where classified advertising went to Craigslist, newspapers would receive a life preserver in the form of revenue injection across the board. If it fails? News Corp. will stumble badly but I don’t think it can get much worse for other news organizations. The worst of the recession has passed by most accounts and newspapers are hurting, but they are surviving.

So the movie will play out in front of our eyes. The trouble–of course–is that at the end of movies you leave the theater happy. In real life? The good guys don’t always win.


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Top 5 Upcoming Blockbuster Movies of 2009, 2010

With Comic Con in the books and the summer blockbusters out of the way, I thought I’d take a look at what’s going to hit theaters over the next 500 days or so. In no particular order:

1) Alice in Wonderland

It’s safe to say that Johnny Depp has some range. March 5th, 2010.

2) 2012

I don’t know about anybody else but this movie trailer scares the bejesus out of me. Those Mayans and their calendar seem to be causing a lot of strife, so let’s go to a Mayan priest to settle the issue, once and for all. November 13th, 2009.

3) Ironman 2

You gotta love how movie companies are so secretive with their trailers. Oh no! Fans might be exciting and pining for the movie at an earlier date! Excitement might reach a fever pitch! No, no, we don’t want that. As such we’re reduced to watching pictures of a trailer. How sad. Don Cheadle, in the photos, as he is replacing Terrence Howard. Don’t know the story? Here ya go. May 7th, 2010.

4. The Expendables

Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture. All in the movie. Yes, I am serious. April 23rd, 2010.

5. Twilight: New Moon

No I didn’t do this for traffic. How dare you even think it. Look, the characters are dreamy and the movie is so real because it’s her story, in first person ok? Ok? IT LOOKS COOL WHEN THE GUY TURNS INTO A WEREWOLF. There I said it. November 20th, 2009.

Top 5 Movies of the 2000’s?

We’ll segue from sports to movies. The other day I was listening to the B.S. Report, a podcast by Bill Simmons. It’s a very popular sports-centric podcast but he talks a lot about pop culture as well. Basically, he said that its 2009 and we don’t really think about it, but the decade is almost over. His question was simple. What are the top five movies of the last ten years? The criteria is excellence when it came out, rewatchability and originality.

So here’s the thing. I love movies. I watch a lot of movies. I think I could make a good list, but surely one that would evoke an argument. But I know for sure that I could come up with a better list than he did. He said number one would be Almost Famous. What a joke. He tried to shoehorn The Dark Knight in afterwards but his credibility was already dust in the wind. Here is my list(it took me ten minutes to get my Google search on)

The Dark Knight made more money in its opening weekend than the top 12 grossing movies did this year during the same weekend.

The Dark Knight made more money in its opening weekend than the top 12 grossing movies did this year during the same weekend.

1. The Dark Knight: The decade will be known as the Decade of the Superhero and there were some good ones and some awful ones, but The Dark Knight was far and away the best one. Heath Ledger’s death and excellent performance seal the deal.

2. Gladiator: The classic, “Hero suffers and gets the bad guy in the end” movie but done so well. If it’s on, you’re watching it plain and simple.

3.Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Slipped from #2 because of the rewatchability and originality criteria(its a sequel, can’t be too original) and maybe its a lifetime achievement award type of deal for a great series of movies, but it defined the decade and if it wasn’t the  decade  of the hero, it most definitely was the decade of the epic movie. Peter Jackson must be hoping for even one-quarter of the success for his new project.

This thriller was about memory and the human mind

This thriller was about memory and the human mind

4. Memento: I channel Simmons here. Maybe it won’t make many top five movies but I remember watching this movie without pause on the DVR was like if the earliest humans watched a quick intructional video on how to make fire. So much was happening and I didn’t really get it until the end, but I loved it.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: This one was/is a favorite of the ladies. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it but I’m putting it here because it holds up really well and aces all of the criteria for making it a great movie. Romantic comedies always seem to do well but the right anti-romantic comedy really gets both guys and girls talking because they’re more real I guess.

Movies that just didn’t make the cut are Kill Bill 2, Collateral, Happy Feet, Wedding Crashers, and Crash. Comment, discuss, disagree. But don’t lob insults. Keep it PG.

(Make your own list at

Check out this video for a top 50 list complete with a serious tune!

A friend takes on the difficult task of his own, top five list.