Film geeks are a special breed. They’re a bunch of people who straddle that line between art snobiness and hipster snarkiness. They’re extremely passionate about the movies they watch and can dissect a film into its integral parts – practically reverse engineering them. One of the most entertaining things on the web is to see a bunch of film geeks talk about a movie. It’s part entertainment, part scholarly debate and all fun. If you’re looking to see how fun a film discussion can get then head on out to ForeverGeek and its new forum.
Netflix is already in some hot water with its 24 million users over recent price changes. But there is a bigger problem the video rental company is having with a 1988 privacy law originally intended for video rental stores. The Video Privacy Protection Act forbids movie rental companies from being able to share what movies its customers have rented in the past. The law came down after a newspaper company revealed some video rental records of Robert Bork, who was hoping to serve on the Supreme Court for the United States.
Privacy concerns become a bigger issue now that Netflix is trying to integrate with Facebook so you can allow your Facebook friends to automatically know what movie you are watching, liked, and what movies you have seen in the past. It might sound like a neat way to keep up with what your friends are watching, but with major privacy concerns and the 1988 law looming over Netflix, even the FTC has expressed concerns over this social interaction.
This is not the first time Netflix has faced privacy issues with the FTC, however. Recently, Netflix ran a contest for analysts to examine over 500,000 Netflix users and their movie watching habits, to try to predict what movies they would want to see next. For the company it was a huge success, but when the FTC put their foot down, Netflix had to cancel their second attempt to run a similar contest.
According to the Video Privacy Protection Act, someone who rents a video has to sign a consent form in order for the video rental company to be able to reveal what movies that person has rented from them, and now that Facebook is wanting to reveal this information without a consent form, it is causing quite a stir with privacy activists. Netflix is claiming that the law is too generic to apply to their situation, but they are not the only ones facing privacy issues over this right now. Facebook has already been to this rodeo before. In 2007, Facebook’s integration with Blockbuster revealed what users were watching on the video rental site, and the result was a big, fat lawsuit. The social networking giant also revealed other activity from a user when visiting websites other than Facebook, but the case was eventually resolved with a settlement.
Netflix users need to know that the company keeps a record of every movie you rent from them. And it’s not quite as anonymous as you might think. Even though the 1988 VPPA law is restricting the video rental company from distributing your renting habits now, this could all change in the near future, as privacy becomes a more difficult thing to protect. It seems that privacy is always the thing needs to be sacrificed in order for technology to march on, but hopefully advancements in the protection of privacy will also stem from the surge of technological achievement. Until then, Netflix will keep trying to find a way to integrate with Facebook, as this would greatly increase their exposure. Although, according to their fanpage, many Netflix users are still angry at the price increase and they are not likely to be a source of much sympathy.
There have been a number of exciting rumors in the film industry that have been announced over the past week or so that I for one would be more than happy to see come alive on the big screen. Let’s take look at some of the rumors that have popped up and assess on which have either been confirmed, are likely to be true or perhaps rumors that have occurred out of hope.
More Matrix Movies?
It would seem that at a recent event in London Keanu Reeves stated that he had been out to lunch with the Wachowski brothers and that talks of two more Matrix movies were held. According to the insider at the event the brothers have the script to split into two not three movies and that Reeves has the potential to once again take on the Neo character. Whilst the first Matrix movie was an awesome film it is safe to say that the two sequels were more about the cash cow than anything else. It wasn’t so much that they were bad films they were just not as enjoyable as the first and they went way too overboard on the special effects.
The other rumor that has come of this is that the brothers have also met up with James Cameron to discuss pros and cons of 3D and are once again looking to push the boundaries of 3 dimensional film making (much as Cameron did with Avatar).
In terms of this being true it has only come from one person that has stated that Reeves has said this and there has been no confirmation either way as of yet.
Kick-Ass 2 In The Works?
Another big rumour to hit the world over the past couple of weeks (thanks to British newspaper the Daily Mail) is that the Kick-Ass 2 screenplay is being worked on by Jane Goldman. Kick-Ass was easily my top movie from 2010 and when I spotted this I simply had to dive in to do a bit more research. Sadly what I found was nothing more than false promises from a newspaper (surprise, surprise). [Read more…]
Lately we have been reviewing another kind of movies here and focused less on your typical box office stuff because… well every does that already and we like to be different. But everyone also seems to be in need of a credit loan in recent years. Unless your name is Quentin Tarantino of course but you would probably prefer to be Zemeckis, Cameron or Spielberg because these are the guys raking in the real money. And Jerry Bruckheimer.
The team of Infographiclabs created this most successful movies infographic for us and ForeverGeek.
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I hate it when someone decides that nouns can be turned into verbs. It’s like, who gave you the authority to alter the English language?! Such is the case of Sony Pictures, warning moviegoers that 2011 is the year we all get Smurf’d. Yes, our animated blue friends are coming to New York.
I’m never a fan of real-life action mixing with animation, and after viewing the brief trailer, I have no reason to believe this movie will turn me into a believer.
The good news is that Hank Azaria (always a pleasure to watch) will play the evil Gargamel and Neil Patrick Harris will play an expectant father who has his world turned upside down by the Smurfs. [Read more…]