Monday, March 26, 2012

On Casablanca, Netflix, and Apple, Three Sides of the Same Coin

On March 21,2012 My wife and I took my youngest one to see the TCM 70th Anniversary showing of Casablanca . Casablanca, a long time favorite film of mine, starring Humphrey  Bogart  Ingrid Bergman, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet.
The film was one of many made in the time before tv, when they were all done in a almost factory like production, and churned out and released one after another. No one thought much of it at the time, other the myriad of problems they had making it mainly being the lack of script and daily rewrites, and no real ending. Somehow it got made. While it did get generally favorable reviews and a good reception from the public . Time have proven to be its best friend.  The lasting impression of this movies and a few movies like it are what every movie made strives for. 99.9% don’t even come close. Casablanca was one of those rare cases of the right script actors, and directors and the the right moment in time. When you watch Casablanca, particularly like I had the pleasure of last week, you forget where you are and for a while you believe there is a Rick’s Cafe’ Americana . Bogart become Rick, and seems to embody the character. In  watching it last week I recall seeing scenes that I don’t remember seeing before, when I’ve watched the movie, and I’ve seen the movie more times than I can count. Everything seemed sharper and and more defined , I know it was on a big screen, and had been remastered to be as near perfect as they could get,   It seemed almost surreal  .  
Of course of bigger moral questions still abound on either  screen, At what point does one put aside one's feeling and do what needs to be done for the greater good of country, or in this case possibility even the world. Rick by, making it possible
for  Victor Laszlo  and Isa Lund, his wife to leave and continue Victors work. In spite of his feelings for Ilsa.  In doing so, Rick set himself up to finely  become a more than a spectator of WWII .
Every movie should be seen the it was intended on the big screen, with a audience and the whole experience. For thoses of you you are  not a Casablanca fan heres a link to the wikipedia article on it;

The last 2 months or so have been eventful. One of the more significant  events was the introduction of Apple's next Generation IPad, Officially known as “The New Ipad” The rest of us call it the Ipad3. While it did seem to make several advances from the Ipad2  I got the impression from what I saw and heard that many tech reporters/ pundits etc, they were less than blown away by it other then its new screen, the retina display, which claims to pack more pixels then a HD screen into a small screen. Adding more connectivity  options including models that will use the new LTE as it become available  is a definite plus, However I’ve already read articles says that most of the use they get is on Wi-Fi, even that those that have 3g build into them don’t use it that much or even at all. If most the the use the 3g and potentially LTE units are getting is on Wifi, then one wonders if is it really  that big of a selling point.The question then becomes to upgrade or not. If you don’t have one at all, the the new one is a no brainer. Also if you still have one the originals, it's pretty obvious that the Ipad 3 is a huge upgrade from the original. However, if you the the Ipad2, The question is more interesting. What do you do with it? How often do you use it and what apps  that you use will like benefit from the new display and  other advances under the hood.  If you're happy with the Ipad2 and it does what you need it to do, and you feel like its working for you long term, then wait.

    Other big news I’ve been reading about is the huge upswing in streaming of the last year, q11.  Netflix has been reporting record numbers in over 2 million hours of content streamed, globally primary us The point of this and other streaming venues is that for the first time streaming is projected to beat out physical media .
The question becomes how much will the public let themselves  depend on streaming media? They allready depend to a large degree on cable and satellite for their media intake, with the help of DVRS they can time-shift their content to watch when they want. It took a few years but content owners have embraced the DVR and are now including DVR viewing in the rating.   And have realized that even time shifted eyes are better then no eyes seeing their content, and thus their ads.
The advent of streaming media over the last few years have forced content owners, providers to rethink their game plan, as to how they package their content and sell their content.   Being able to pull netflix up on almost device from my Ipod Touch to a Ipad, or android tablet and any number of tv/internet connected devices,ie,  Roku, Boxee, Xbox360, etc, open a whole new world for content owners. They now have a much wider audience to graze their offering, and putting content that was not useable on other venues  suddenly give older underused content a new life.
As much as I like streaming and use my Roku box, have found content that I didn’t even know existed on the various channels of the Roku. My feeling is that there will will always be a place for physical media. There are collectors and folks who don’t believe in have media be it music or movies/tv that they bought and paid for in a cloud, be it Apples or Google’s or Amazon’s. And would rather have a copy in their own hands to use as they please. Thats not even counting have ones own copy of classic movies or tv series that they particularly love.

    Yes streaming is good, in fact it can be very good, There is no substitute  for owning ones own media and content. Content owners and distributors need to understand several things; They can’t put all their egg in one basket, Streaming and DVD are here to stay, however, They are still missing a huge market in not bringing older classic content to the big screen on a regular basis.  There are a number of ways that that programs could be set up to draw in older moviegoers who don’t care to see the newest hit of the week, but would love to see their favorite classic movie they way they first saw it on the big screen.
To me streaming and movies are opposites sides of the same coin, and can definitely complement each other if done right.


No comments: