Avatar (2009)

AVATAR (2009) – Thursday Mid-night show – 12.17.2009 (SLC, UT)

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/

When I realized that #Avatar (Twitter lingo) was one week away from release, I went straight aways to Megaplextheaters (SLC) online to purchase my ticket. I have to say, I didn’t realize I was going to sign up for the Thursday mid-night showing. I’m rather glad I did. Usually, whenever a really good movie is released, I like to attend opening night. This is how I make a determination on a movie’s over-all viewer experience. If a movie that is highly anticipated meets the expectation of the audience, there almost always will be a huge viewer involvement. The Star Wars trilogy (both of them) is a perfect example. No one can forget standing in line over night (errr… so I hear anyway) for a ticket. Standing in line just to show off your light-saber and your Darth Maul costume (that was my favorite by the way). But the best part was being inside the theater to feel the excitement in the air. Every time there was a kick or laser fire or any action sequence, the crowd roared. If it was a funny scene, the crowd laughed almost hysterically. These are the tell-tail signs I was looking for while watching Avatar. Sadly, there was very little audience involvement in both the action or humor scenes. My first impression: It’s over hyped and the reviews will not go well.

The Plot:
Who are we kidding. All one has to do, is watch the movie trailers (Online in HD @ AppleĀ® Trailers) and the entire plot is unfolded for you. If this is what’s going to make the movie for you, then you might want to wait to watch it at a matinee showing. But definitely worth more than the dollar showing a few months later. Much of the movie reminds me of several other animated movies. I saw a bit of Disney’s “Pocahontas” and the entire “mother earth” theme, DreamWork’s “Prince of Egypt” and the “Moses” theme, Peyo’s “Smurfs” (1981, not the 2011) – for the blue characters, and even James Cameron’s “Aliens”. This last one due to the alien features of the creatures. One can even see a body-armor robotic suit, very similar to the one Sigourney Weaver wore in Aliens. Imagine that. Sigourney Weaver in an alien themed movie with “loaders”, fan-driven air crafts, rescue mission, etc. Truth be told, only Sigourney can get away with that. Does anyone remember the “Aliens” sequence where Sigourney is in full body armor robotic “loader”, where she comes to save the day yelling out, “Get away from her you B!T@H” Something to that effect you’ll see. All that’s missing, from Aliens, is Sigourney running around in her underwear. Wait, does she run around in her under wear in Avatar? Dunno.

Q: Aliens? or Avatar?

In the movie itself, all plots and sub-plots are very predictable and obvious. Each development or obstacle in the movie, comes along with it, a very transparent resolve. In fact, you can pretty much put the whole thing together just by reading the IMDB summary and viewing the trailers (exactly what I said at the beginning of the “Plot” summary).

However, do we really watch a movie solely for the anticipation of a plot development or to see a sudden reversal in role or theme? Well, I suppose the answer is yes. But, if you’re a big FX enthusiast, or a gamer who loves his video rendering, then you’ll enjoy, if nothing else, the visual experience in and of itself.

Visual experience:
I didn’t watch the 3D version of it, so I can’t speak for it. In the regular showing, the colors and textures are bright and vibrant (sounds very generic and cliche, but there it is). Actually the mix of computer generated textures and actual physical textures, are remarkably seamless, and make for a good marriage. I’m including some screen shots here (no spoilers, there all screen shots from the trailer/teaser). Feel free to click on them for the much larger version.

My Rating:
Visual experience: 9/10
Story/plot development: 6/10 (not very original)

However, my personal take on it is this:
I’m watching it again tomorrow at the matinee show. Well worth it for me.
For me it was the heart-pounding experience, despite the obvious plot developments. The visual affects and all of the fight sequences that grabbed the “Military” or “Marine” in me. To a less degree, It was also the “Avatar” nature of it. Social media hubs or cyber-living has given us the idea of a virtual self. “A rebirth” to borrow the phrase from “Avatar”.
Go and watch it, and figure out if you like it.

Oh, I almost forgot. If you’re a “Lost” (of ABC) fan, you’ll be excited to see “Anna Lucia Cortez” (Michelle Rodriguez). The same actress that plays Trudy Chacon in the movie.

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Market Trends I Missed out on.

I was only less than 15… but had I been raised by an investor or by a stock-broker, I could have had an investment return to retire on.

Now, I’m not one to think in a mundane or very temporal or materialistic way. I’m really the opposite. But I admit… that while money and amassing of personal assets seems to run the world, one has to make a living and be ahead of the bills and family needs.
Here’s what I missed out on:

1. An upstart small company (Microsoft) that JUST broke off from a Giant main-stream corporation (IBM).
The company only provided small services.
2. The new company started by selling Publicly their stock at 0.11 a share (11 CENTS A SHARE!!)
3. This was considered, “Penny Stock”;
Highly risky and undesirable stock.
4. As we all know, MS (Microsoft) became a super-giant and went from 11 cents a share… to $58.85 a share..!!!
5. Oh, well. I was TOOO young. And who would have thought they would sky-rocket.

In truth. I’m not sure if (today) I would want to be associated with Microsoft as a person and individual. I’d be crazy not to believe or even consider… having been on that ten year hike and flight up the the Huge Market value; Monetization. Retire and concentrate on things I love. Video encoding and publishing (can’t can’t say that now), travel, understanding the world by visiting and experiencing instead of JUST text books and an occasional 2 or 3 day vacation.

I guess really. This isn’t about Market trends… it’s really about who I am. But enough with the mushy stuff… (funny that)

Lots of good things happening out there… Also, many stable investments as well.

Here are a little of my rantings as an Online Observer:
1. Common medals, minerals and alloys, are for the most part, very stable and good investment, with slow returns. (SAFE) — Something I learned from my cousin from Austin Texas. (works for a major electronics/computing Corporation)

2. Already existing technologies (oh, that means investments in Technologies portion of the Market; Go NASDAQ) merging with Corporations or creating new competitive but leading standards and innovations.
a. This will be pricy, they (Corporations) already exist and are amongst the leaders of their industry.
b. Look at current events in regards to these Large Technolegies and how these events affect economy, demand and public presentation.

Now… My picks for this year (Not as any specialist or analyst or broker, just the Online-Observer) I spend a lot of time online in professional communities and online news/events reading, et. al. Now, my picks. (In descending order)

1. CISCO* (Over a protracted period of time will actually (in my Observer Opinion) be a better investment.) They are and will be leading the new Internet standards: IPv6 vs IPv4.*

2. RCA An existing technology, and owned by SONY BMG. Not the most sophisticated technology, but a very highly popular product. They are continuing to partner up with much larger companies/corporations to increase their alredy huge exposure AND interoperability with these larger companies/corporations.

3. PANASONIC You make up your own choice on this one. Lots of going ons within their corporation. They too are strategically partnering up, not with larger companies/corporations, but rather multiple smaller and upstart companies. Good tactic. Will a tree branch bundled up with sticks withstand the competition of a larger tree-limb..??

4. SONY Corporate Technologies. Yes. I know. They are already a HUGE and a highly priced share/stock public exchange. Most will not be able to afford to buy in. The time, to very expensively, “BUY, BUY, BUY” has come and gone; About 8mo – 1yr ago. With their release of Blue-Ray technology… holding 25-40GB of Hi, Hi resolution (720p-1080i, 1080p); No other competing industry company/corporation, were able to come close. Certainly not Microsoft’s supported and ventured technology of HD. Microsoft bit the bullet on this one (HD investment). Sony’s Blue-Ray has blown its competition out of the way. Blue-Ray is still highly priced, but will decrease in price to create a demand and then supply in HUGE amounts to the general public. That strategy alone, of being the only emerged standardized technology, opening its marketability will pay off. Again, only if you can afford its already highly monetized value. As has been seen by my observations (non-professional), Sony too is partnering up (without needing to) with other smaller companies/corporations to increase its already viability and interoperability and thus completely integrating and creating compatible technology; It’s Blue-Ray. Some of these companies/corporations, I have already listed. Others are some of the smaller companies that are partnering up with those previously mentioned technology corporations. Blue-Ray is definitely here to stay. But we already knew that. Current Investors and stock-holders, tighten your seat-belts. Your Fun ride is about to get funner. For those of us that cannot buy into SONY, we’ll just have to sit back and watch, and say: “Yep. We knew it was gonna happen, and sure is nice to see it and go SONY standard.”

My last thought, and my Pick for the day:
1. LiveUniverse. An already known corporation, but one that is rapidly gaining increased momentum in Online Communities and Online Video Sharing communities as a provider and owner. In an industry where it has been said, Online content providers lack a Business,It has very quickly become a leader, and is very quickly becoming the standard for the Online community and Industry. It is also innovatively and obviously standardizing a Business model for online communities, content providers, streaming media and content delivery systems.

Until my next completed online observations, this is the Online-Observer bidding good night to ANY reader out there… hmmm no standard for me.

*This will really pay off in a protracted period of time. The time for IPv6 as a global Internet-Adressing schematic and standard, is no longer in the theoritical. Japan, parts of Europe and as of recent (not publicized, but public sector if one wants to do the research), the US Military.
a. Short end of it: The world is already starting to run out of IP addresses. It’s a physical fact that we (The Modern World and IP users) will run out of IP allocation in the very near future. Unacceptable. Companies, Corporations and individuals will no longer be able to get on the internet without sharing their address with over several hundred or thousand users with little connectivity.

The world in general, WILL and is migrating towards IPv6. CISCO will have to, and IS producing physical network topology and equipment to assign IPv6 addresses; And mapping COMPLETELY, and almost exclusively supporting the new standards being migrating to. Thats a Fact. So… If you can afford it, and can ride their current roller-coaster of market value, the investment WILL pay-off within the next 5-10 yrs. Industry Standard by then.


Death of a Streaming Video Content Delivery Giant: Is there Resurrection in Sight?

Death of a Streaming Video Content Delivery Giant: Is there Resurrection in Sight ?

You may be asking yourself, “Is this Stage6 he is talking about?” Indeed it is. Perhaps another question you may be asking as well, “This is old news. Why The BLOG now ?”

These are of course very good questions. I have been meaning to BLOG “Death of a Streaming Video Content Delivery Giant” I never did get around to the task. Many BLOGS and articles had already been written. I thought, “Dang it… beaten to the punch again !”

As some may know, I frequent the Google’s (gotta love that Google) Finance pages to look at the latest stock quotes, happenings, Finance talks and forums created by stock holders to exchange thought on the viability or monetization of their investments. I too (as a beginning learner) have participated in some of these conversations.

Today, as is usual for me, I went to look at DivX Inc., daily actions and transactions. To help explain the activity in one’s investments, there are always several articles or reference to articles to the side of the Corporation’s Historical Stock Price Chart. As I looked at NASDAQ:DIVX trends and patterns for the week, I began to wonder why such a fluctuation within just a couple of days. As we all know, there was a sudden drop in the price of stock at the time that Jordan Greenhall announced his resignation from DivX, Inc. as CEO. The market value of stock stabilized quickly plateaued and stabilized for a while. This was around the Jordan Greenhall Steps down as CEO: approx. $2.00 drop in DivX price in stock, just before the 3rd and 4th Quarter Financial report and Fiscal Year revenue Outlook (below analyst’s expectations.) The market seems to fluctuate some, but for the most part is fairly steady, yet lower since Jordan Greenhall’s resignation.

Within a few months after Greenhall’s resignation, Kevin Hell is announced by DivX, Inc. as the new CEO. At this point we see that the price of DivX Inc., stock takes a sudden jump up from $11.98 to $18.63 with in just a couple of days. For many that know their own financial portfolio, or frequent the finance pages, this is a HUGE investment payoff. Just the idea of a new CEO to stabilize the corporation, stabilizes DivX’s market value. Still, as time and acquisitions and contracts with large electronic corporations such is Panasonic, Sony and Hauppage and others are made, DivX Inc. stock price begins a slow downward spiral, within a couple of months of the announcement of Kevin Hell as CEO. The month of February brought many influences to DivX worth in the market; From certification grants (seems that this should have brought DivX value up perhaps no correlation), Yet again below analyst’s expectations of DivX, Inc. Quarterly revenue report. But perhaps, the biggest blow to DivX Inc. stock price, bringing along with it a panic in the market of product delivery viability, is its 3 day notice announcement of Stage6.com’s closure. There were many rumors and innuendos for a while, but the former Stage6 users dispersed looking for new sanctuary as if evacuees and refugees. Funny as this may sound, some of the Stock holders followed suit and began selling off their shares and stock expecting an inevitable demise of a once HD Quality streaming media or otherwise (and without competition) content delivery Giant. Other stock holders stood firm, and purchased the sudden excess of lower value ($9.37 per share) stock of the “short investors”. March introduced a wave of fluctuation and turbulence. Still, those that held on to their stock, didn’t lose much as the fluctuations, for the most part were tidal, and kept an average price.

As of today, Friday March 07, 2008 (the price of stock per share at $9.40, with a closing day price of $9.37), LiveUniverse Inc. publically announced that it had made an offer to DivX Inc., BEFORE the shutdown of Stage6, an excess of $11,000,000.00 and options of promoting DivX and generating a $5 million DivX Inc. product sales. In addition, DivX Inc. AND Its Share holders would receive a 10% of the new company or entity (merged online video sights). Additional asset offerings, acquisitions and equity participations can be found online at PR newswire and WebService journal owned by Sys-con Media. There is reason for Stock holders to be upset over the announcement by DivX, Inc. for reasons behind the closure of Stage6; That the shut down of Stage6 (3 day notice) was in the best interest of DivX Inc. and of its investors and stock holders. Investors and stock holders had been in a situation to own 10% of a new entity as merged my an online media and online community giant. Not quite the HD quality contender, but online giant nonetheless. DivX Inc. Investors and Stage6 community members, were never given these facts. To date, the information continues to be withheld from DivX’s “Investor Relations” announcements. Closure of one of DivX Inc. assets was not infact in the best interest of investors and share holders, as previously announced and devoid of certain facts. LiveUnivers Inc. officially released its proposal to stage6. LU, Inc. also tells us that upon making its offer to DivX, all communications ceased, and within 36 hours of cease of communications and discussions, DivX suddenly pulls the plug on its asset Stage6.

In a press release, earlier today, LU, Inc. stated that even today, DivX Inc. will not open any communications, and that any attempts are ignored. Opening dialog and communications for negotiations of a NOW closed and lost asset, would be in the best interest of DivX, Stage6 community, but importantly a huge interest and BEST interest of DivX, Inc. investors and share holders.

One of LU, Inc. sites, “LiveVideo.com” has recently created a channel called, “SaveStage6” (http://www.livevideo.com/SaveStage6). It is a site and Channel where investors, share holders and Stage6 community members can rally to and voice its concerns over the non-communication stance that DivX Inc. has placed itself with LiveUnivers Inc. It is not too late to recover from our losses. It is not too late to have an asset acquired for the better interest of investors AND former Stage6 Community Members.


Usually, in many things, I try to take a non-interference policy. In this instance, such a stance would be against the better interest of all that have a vested interest.

Please join us (SaveStage6) channel members. Help save Stage6.

Yes. There is life after death, where Stage6 is concerned.

Jerry Zambrano

Has Video Stream Killed the Video Store: On Demand Media vs. Shelf Media Content

There seems to be an increasing demand for “On Demand” Streaming Media. Everyone is aware of the Podcasts, the low-quality to mid-quality video streams for your Blackberry or your Cell-phone. Even Bittorrenting is increasingly flagging the need for streaming media, whether it be for “On the Go” or whether its for Ease of access. Either way, society has definitely shifted (a long time ago) towards the need of Media to go. For the most part, this has not been a problem, as these video streams and casts have been at very best… High Quality and some in the HD formats, with 720p being at the high end, but at the cost of bandwidth and much larger files.

Recently, I’ve visited a few websites (I’ll list these sources later, this is only my rough draft) that offer, viable and ethical media content streaming with large throughputs, extensive storage capacity and highly compressed HD quality (supporting upto 1080p). All this for the the price of a sign up, with no fees. Some critics (I will cite these sources as well) have more than hinted, that these types of sites, facilitate piracy and violations of the DMCA (Digital Media Copyright Act).

Two companies have joined forces and announced their intentions of entering the Digital Licensing Management market, and becoming competitors against DLM giants such as Microsoft, Real Media, Apple and the likes. The two companies that have signed a contract towards this end are DivX Incorporated and [German Company credited for introducing the mp3 format (more info to follow)] and are promising to exonerate their previous histories of piracy facilitation (Citation here from ZDNet.co.uk) and join forces to digitally encode Licensing Water Marks. Thus, bringing into Stage… birth of a streaming digital On-Demand Media Content.

1. Hasn’t YouTube and MySpace already done this?

A: Not to this extent. And definitely not at these capacities that equal or surpass “Video Store” quality; Ranging from DVD quality to HD quality up to HD 1080p.

With such high demand for Streaming video and media content, some Corporate giants (MGM Studios, Universal Studios (more with citations later) ) Have chosen to join the market. Rather than only tackling illegal P2P file sharing subject-matter, MGM Studios et. al. have chosen to join in and release their TV episodes the same day/night that their show is released. It’s how I ran into my personal favorite Sci-Fi Episode of Stargate Atlantis.

After doing a Google Search for the latest episode of my favorite show, I found a link that appeared to be a legitimate and viable source of current media content… right on Amazon. I quickly purchased the previous episode I had missed (all for $1.84) and waited quietly and patiently for a couple of hours (at work mind you) until the airing of the next episode. As soon as the episode aired, it was published and released for $1.84 through Amazon. I was Ecstatic! I was watching the current episode that I would have missed, without having to set a record reminder at home on my DVR. Best of all, the quality of the video was significantly better.

Streaming media/video, especially illegal file sharing through torrenting, may have seemed like an insult and infringement of creative and commercial works (torrenting of course still is), but our Large corporate giants have caught on that, like it or not, the average busy professional who works 8-12 hour days, necessitate viewing relaxation on the go, (or at work such as myself… **Sshhh Don’t Tell, I won’t**). It may or maynot cut down on illegal file sharing, but it certainly is a start, and provides a viable means of obtaining the most current media content, online, and streaming to your PC or portable device. Now that is what I call A Streaming Video Store.

So to answer my own Question. “Did Video Stream Kill the Video Store?”

A: I think not. I believe it has only fueled the expansion of this market. Better to join the winning side, and cash in on the available market already in place, than to meet a costly stalemate, I say.

This is just a quick preview of my “Weekly Edition Post”… It’s also my first at WordPress. Time will tell what type of content will be appropriate for Posting, and certainly time will be my tutor in the Art of the Blog.

(More To follow in content, references, accuracies and editing)

Jerry Zambrano