Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vomit Inducing Summer Movie List 2012

The month of May almost passed me by, but I could not skip the 7th edition of the vomit inducing summer movie list (previous list here: 2006, 2007, 2008 , 2009, 2010, and 2011.

I'm a little sad this post is written post-Battleship (the sci-fi action movie based on the game, that I've complained about previously).

Without further ado...here's the 2012 list.

May 25: Chernobyl Diaries
A horror movie that takes place at the site of the horrible nuclear disaster of 1986. Unfortunately some people might think the disaster is an imaginary event, something on par with The Day After Tomorrow, except it's real, and this horror movie looks like the definition of a vomit inducing summer movie.

June 1: Piranha 3DD
The title and tagline along are enough to put this on the list. No further discussion needed. The tag line: "Twice the terror. Double the D's."

June 8: Bel Ami
Classic literature adaptations don't usually make the annual vomit list, but the adaptation of  Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant hits the list when the lead star is Robert Pattinson playing a Parisian.

June 15: That's My Boy
Adam Sandler and Andy Samburg in a film that looks and smells like the 80s, or at least the 90s. And not in a good way. 

June 29: Magic Mike
Steven Soderbergh is hit or miss, and I can appreciate his project variety (genre, cast, budget, etc.). But Magic Mike staring Channing Tatum as Mike an experienced stripper seems to be like the type of film that typically comes out in September with Oscar buzz and critical disappointment. So what do I make of this June release? I can only think that Warner Bros. is trying to press their luck with Tatum's other popular 2012 film success (The Vow and 21 Jump Street).
I am not really sure why Katy Perry get's her own summer documentary. Not sure at all.

July 20: Grassroots
I get nervous about the idea of any movie that wants to open up the weekend of The Dark Knight Rises, especially a comedy/drama about a Seattle City Council election staring Jason Biggs. In this case perhaps it's more worrisome than vomit inducing, but something potentially awful to keep an eye out for this summer.

July 27: The Watch
After some bad timing - the neighborhood watch film that was set for release well ahead of the Trayvon Martin controversy has undergone a film name change from Neighborhood Watch to The Watch, but with a name change that makes it sound like a sequel to The Ring, I can't help be see this as one of the most appropriate films to hit the list this year. Sorry Ben Stiller. 

July 27: Killer Joe
Hello! The movie poster has a piece of fried chicken in the shape of Texas that looks more like a diarrhea, but I have to assume it's intended to be chicken (with blood splattered on it) only because the tagline uses the word "deep-fried"  ("A totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck murder story."). Director William Friedkin, an Oscar winning director (The French Connection, 1971) and nominee (The Exorcist, 1973), might have a surprise up his sleeve here, but I just can't get past that bloody fried chicken poo.

August 17: Sparkle
If Mariah Carrey couldn't deliver with Glitter, why over a decade later would American Idol alum Jordin Sparks be able to deliver with the awfully named Sparkle (Jordin Sparks is Sparkle Williams). I expect some Whitney Houston talk behind this film which might make some discussions more sensative (i.e. no Razzie for Houston). But I expect a bust of a bust of a bust.

August 24: Premium Rush
No it's not an energy drink. David Koepp, screenwriter of this year's Men in Black III also is the writer of this like action flick, which takes the tired film chase scene and tries to freshen it up by putting Joseph Gordon-Levitt on a bike being chased in New York City. What an exhausting movie, not to mention a movie that reminds you that instead of being outside getting exercise you're sitting in a dark theater, eating popcorn watching someone ride a bike. 

August 29: The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure
Sure you have some stars like Cloris Leachman, Cary Ewles, Christopher Lloyd, Toni Braxton, and Jamie Presley, but you also have characters named Goobie, Zoozie, Toofie and Schluufy the Pillow. 'Nuf said. This smells like Teletubbies on drugs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Receipt Survey Experiment Follow Up

A month ago I started a little experiment regarding those surveys at the bottom of so many receipts. My initial post can be found here.

I wasn't sure exactly where this project would take me, but let me summarize my initial feelings regarding the topic.

  • I am glad this project is over, I'm so tired of taking these surveys
  • I am glad I don't have to dread getting a receipt and taking a peak at whether or not it has a survey.
That's right. Taking these surveys are a pain. 

When you start, you usually don't know what you're getting yourself into. Sometimes you're surprised by a simple survey (such as the simple survey for a local furniture store I completed when we bought mattress covers for new beds for our kids). But sometimes, you can stuck in a ridiculously long survey. That's how I felt when I did the survey for Children's Place. The kids clothing store survey took me almost 20 minutes, and all we bought was a pair of tights that were on sale.

Beyond the long Children's Place survey, the other surveys that were my nemesis where the surveys at my local grocery store. It's not that the survey is awful, it initially ask you what sections you shopped in and the questions are tailored to your shopping, but the problem is that we do a lot of trips in the course of a month to the grocery store. Sometimes for big purchases, but often we just need some milk. When it was a full trip with a little shopping in every section that survey took forever.

In terms of incentives, a lot of these surveys come with incentives. Often a gift card. If it's a gift card incentive the drawing can be anywhere from $100 to $5000. And in a way, it was the lower price gift cards at smaller locations that made me feel like I had a better chance of winning. The extravagant opportunity made the "win" seem unlikely, and infrequent drawings. These surveys do not tell you when the drawings will take place or the odds of winning.

Another limitation to these surveys was the fact that they weren't very "smart phone" friendly, and usually required logging into a computer which meant collecting these and doing them in a sitting at the computer, which is the last thing I want to do when I get a moment to sit down. A few surveys have time limits on them,  and at times I almost missed the deadline to complete the survey.

So surveys completed, have I won anything or found any personal benefit...nope, not really. Maybe the shopping experience some how is improved by my survey completion, but otherwise all I got was a few discount codes upon completing a survey that I didn't use (thank you, GAP). 

And the one survey I couldn't complete was an Pizza Hut receipt from a airport, despite the website survey instructions, the website required a store number, and the receipt only had a location code that didn't match the character requirement of the site. Shucks! No survey taken.

I understand the stores desire to capture my thoughts (and yours) on our shopping experience, but I have to wonder if there is a better way. 

Here are some suggestions:
  • Shorter surveys that capture more targeted information (as opposed to fishing for information from staff greeting customers, store cleanliness, merchandising, and incentive programs)
  • Surveys that I can take on my phone when I might be more likely to be in a place where I'm trying to kill time.
  • Increase my odds of personal benefit, even if the benefit is smaller (such as take a survey immediately to get a deduction on my purchase I already made, or increased odds of winning even if the prize is a smaller amount, such as $10).
  • Surveys that can quickly capture my previous shopping experience which don't require me to type in excessive information from my receipt (such as store number, date, time, register, associate code, survey code, etc.) 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The FB IPO

The Facebook IPO will begin trading on NASDAQ shortly, and like all things Mark Zuckerberg, there is a unique buzz associated.

It's everything from a season o unique purchases (like Instagram), to a last minute stock price hike, to a general media blitz.

I read in Forbes recently that Facebook makes an estimated $5 per user, an the conversation seems to be that despite the excitement, frenzy, an huge membership base, that $5 a person is still not enough for huge sweeping profits.

Additionally, it seems that while some people love Facebook for posting political opinions, play games, look at there grandmother's vacation pictures and share children/pet advice, there is a continued question to privacy.

Whenever there is an IPOs for fad e-company I always question the longevity of the stock. How long will Zynga exist? Groupon?

Even companies that have been traded for awhile now, like Priceline.com, can they survive another decade of innovation and e-world development?

If nothing else, these e-IPOs create energy around innovation and an opportunity for young creatives and IT savvy developers to enter a new class of wealthy success stories. The type of stories that keep the dreams alive for future innovation.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

With The Success of The Avengers...

Where's the project for the multiple film deal to make the long awaited film, The Founding Fathers...
You know you want to see the following films:

  • John Adams
  • John Adams 2
  • Thomas Jefferson 
  • Thomas Jefferson 2
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Hancock
  • William Whipple
  • John Jay
  • George Washington
  • George Washington 2
All before we see the the culminating film trilogy:
  • The Founding Fathers: Independent Day
  • The Founding Fathers: Articles of Confederation
  • The Founding Fathers: Constitutional Convention
PBS? HBO? Anyone interested in this 13 film project. Anyone? 

I'm sure they all would be striking in 3D IMAX presentations...Anyone?


Saturday, May 05, 2012

The 2100 Pottery Barn Catalogue

The other night at a friends house, I was admiring their rotary phone decoration from Pottery Barn.

There is always different retro items in a pottery barn catalogue to create a unique feel. Today, I looked and saw old looking yard sticks.

So in a few decades, say the year 2100, what faux items from 2012 will we see...assuming (perhaps incorrectly, that Pottery Barn exist and our current time period is at all decor worthy).

Will we see cast iron routers, stainless steel remote controls, stone car key fob replicas, britta water pitcher replicas, or computer mice?
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