Reviews written by registered user

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17 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Just touches the surface, the tip of the iceberg....., 17 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I gave this movie an "8" because it at least exposed how "fake" the stock markets really are....and exposed something that the media (as usual) didn't cover about this event: The time stamps of the allegedly "official" CNBC ticker (and, worse, the ticker available to the small fish retail investor for the Dow Index) at "the time" and moments later of the crash were OFF HUGE, and in a way which could not be reconciled (!) because the main processing system itself had "gotten behind"/overloaded but there was no audit trail easily available to the (m)asses to show that the system was delayed in processing quotes. The huge price arbitrage from this (secondary) calamity alone was HUGE as shown by one of the sources/interviewees, Mr Hunsader.

It touched on the alleged role of Waddell and Reed. It touched on how over half of all trade volume in the US is now "automated". It touched concisely (a bit too much so) on the precise sequence of events that led to the crash. It touched on the SEC's "report" on the crash which came MUCH too late to be of any use, and, more shocking, which was of incorrect emphasis to be of any use (I am not making this up!).

But this film swam in SUCH a rich pool of trendy current subjects for a documentary purpose, but left so many things untouched.

Crucially, the film did not touch on the very arbitrage-ridden plumbing behind ETFs themselves which were also heavily involved in the Flash Crash.

It did not touch on dark pools and their connection to HFT.

The film did not explore deeply into the trading algorithms at all (they could have interviewed the ex programmer from Goldman who allegedly "stole" the code and "sold" it to hedge funds). I felt it was very shallow on this point, just mentioning computer v. computer "warfare" doesn't quite do this topic justice.

It did not mention "DDOS"-type quote stuffing (in the millions per second) which NaNex had earlier exposed.

It did not expose how trading is more and more about "hacking". It's the same mindset, only, now it's institutionalized. Along these lines, it did not mention how this new "technology" has contributed to (at least as shown in the financial media once) banks such as Goldman could have an ENTIRE quarter of NO TRADING LOSS DAYS(!). No one would not call that "trading" but arbitrage (no risk taking), all thanks to automation, internalization and fragmentation of "the market" and order flow.

It did not mention how the US is now "exporting" this HFT meme to developing markets in Asia.

It did not mention how these HFT companies GET PAID via "rebates" for the very HFT trades they make from the exchanges. So the exchanges actively cultivate HFT

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant Film, 17 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Contains all the classic elements of British comedy: understatement, death, family, homosexuality, social status, somewhat effeminate menfolk, a midget, and ....the toilet! Yes it's truly funny. But it also has some tender moments. All's well that ends well! I could not stop laughing, even though i saw it on DVD. If Shakespeare were doing film today, this would certainly be among his works! The fact that it was remade in Hollywood is testament to the appeal of an obviously good script. The fact that the original creators felt they had to sell it to Hollywood for extra revenue is also actually kind of depressing to think about. In any case, leave the Hollywood version aside and stick to viewing the original. Memorable film and a good time for everyone.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
What does it take?, 16 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Remember the "Hollywood gala" thrown for Pres Bill Clinton. At the time, the media portrayed it as an outpouring of love for the Clintons. Yeah right. This movie explores the natural affinity Hollywood celebrity has with power. It also explores the sums of money involved in throwing events like this together.

In fact, the gala was for the sole purpose of getting dry gunpowder (ie funds) for Hillary's upcoming (as yet unknown to the public) Senate bid from New York (the state was also unknown at that time). Well this documentary is told by THE guy who set up and produced that "gala".

Along the way, viewers get near "open-mic" or "open-lens" views of Hillary's fund raising. Watching this production made clear, to me at least, one of Hillary's "tells": when she opens her eyes up wide open, she's likely dissembling. This movie takes you behind the mystique and public persona of the Clintons, as told by someone who donated lots of money to Bill and Hillary, in return for what he thought would be the legitimate furtherance of a sound business, only to wind up being sucker punched just a day later by a gossipy (but true) press expose from the Washington Post. Watch as the protagonist goes from appearing to be consummate inside fund-raiser and savvy rainmaker to low-life pariah and convict in 2 days straight!

Then the real harrowing story begins for Mr Paul. He finds himself under sudden long term imprisonment in Brazil (of all jurisdictions!) During which, he finds himself declared as a "fugitive from justice" in the US rendering him defeats in his pending civil suits filed in the US! His business plans, like the business, go bankrupt. His former investment partner is now courted and effectively "married" to other Clinton business vehicles.

Also, as Mr Paul tries to clear his name by bringing suit against Hillary, he is dumbfounded to watch as the prosecutor and judge side with the defense (ie. Hillary) before the trial begins, influencing the jury right at the start!

What does it take to get a little justice? To be fair, there was some scandal associated with the protagonist in his earlier business dealings in Florida during the Nafta hey-day (including scandal around the Miami World Trade Center deals). But still, Mr Paul's intents in cozying up to the Clintons appear legitimate.

The film does not make clear in what capacity Mr Paul had met Presidents Carter, and Reagan and also, the film, *amazingly*, avoids ANY mention of Rahm Emanuel (which is rather shocking as he was fund raiser in chief in the white house at the time).

The Net (2003)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Compelling Connections. Educational and Stimulating., 6 June 2010

There is no denying the facts uncovered by Mr. Dammbeck. If you are a student of the history of technology, of computing especially, and its relationship with society then this film is a must see.

It raises questions which have never been addressed elsewhere. Indeed Mr. Dammbeck discloses that the biases are "systemic".

For example, Why did "Silicon Valley" develop in California? Why is the University of California a beacon of BOTH computer science education, and the vanguard cultural movements in the 60s? How exactly were computers marketed to the public at first? In what context? How was the decision to disseminate the mass consumption of computation taken? (This is WAY beyond the "chicken and egg" problems of scope Guy Kawasaki faced with marketing Apple PCs to the public.) What are the Taboos underpinning our technological society? Who benefits from these taboos? What has Thom Friedman left out in his discussion of our presently Global, multi-ethnic society?

This is a spare, lean philosophical exploration of things never or rarely discussed in the media, but it is extremely relevant to our present!

A Must See, especially for engineering students.

9 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
TRITE, BORING, Cliché, 26 April 2010

Veiko Õunpuu could have done something meaningful by staking out new ground or a new vision from a unique eastern European perspective. Instead he decides he wants to make an existential-angst/ennui type of "made in France" film to fit in with other "cool" western European cinema. Literally every scene is a copy of other clichés from other European films. The director wanted to stake a "me too" claim and he has succeeded in that, nothing more. There is nothing uniquely Estonian, about the plot/narrative.

At over two hours, with many scenes shot in real time mode, it is torture to watch. Even one hour into the film, we still don't have empathy for any of the characters. The suffering of each character is rigidly imposed and artificial.

AVOID! Save your eyes and mind.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
AWESOME with a twist, 13 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The animation/CGI in this movie is F-R-E-S-H. It is fun to watch for both children and adults. The monsters are creative and enjoyable. The real-time pacing of the opening is funny and droll in a unique way.

The main character Sato grows on you over time as the plot unfolds. His day to day tribulations and alienation make you laugh. Especially when he gets to spend his "monthly" meeting with his 7 yr old daughter, and then her mother prevails on the crew to have her face pixelated(!) our sense of empathy for Sato's shame and ignominy peak.

OVerall a cool flick. Must See. "Eee Desu Ne!"

P.S. If you "sleep" on it, the gentle bewildering MYSTERY of this movie eventually becomes clear. Who could've guessed this movie predicted the outcome of the next General election in Japan, when the long standing LDP lost? I invite viewers to think why!

Hint1: "The Fourth" can be take to be a proxy for Japan's glory days Emperor period. Hint2: Sato is a symbol of... Hint3: "Justice Family" are dressed in red white and ....; Sato must become a defacto 5th member of their "family" which is yet another adaptive stress/ignominy in the arc of his life...

any Clearer? ......exactly! (You reach a OMG moment.) LOL. top notch.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Very thought provoking, 12 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What if the PM of UK told the US to take it's bases out 18 months? Do it, period! You get a glimpse of a lot of the "friction" (putting it mildly as bodies pile up) that exists unseen in democratic government. AVBC allows you to imagine being a left leaning prime minister in a system where many civil servants are all rather far right leaning blue bloods, especially the secret services. In the end, only true political skills and thinking on his feet saved the PM in this series.

PS: the same situation could apply in US (lest you think this is all N/A). I imagine the US State Department is really no different, heavily cliquish, unbalanced-ly pro national corporate interests, covert and everything. Good luck getting through them. It brings to light conspiracy theories about the annihilation of the Kennedy family in the 60s (even though they were NOT at all that far left; certainly not as far as McAnally's character, which is hard to swallow).

I thought the dismantling of ONE war-head on prime time TV was gimmicky. McAnally's straight on but deep acting is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

I was surprised to hear the phrase "hearts and minds" in the 2nd episode.

It was interesting to hear how the conflicts being played out in the political theater date back to the middle ages! Once an outsider....

PS. this is out on DVD at least my mail order DVD rental service ;) I think we might get to see a decent US movie remake of this but hopefully NOT like what they did to "State of Play" YUCK.

a microcosm movie, 31 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie entertainingly illustrates several business TRUTHS. You can buy and sell companies left and right, but you can NOT fake company "culture". A numbers driven sales force, and a numbers(financial accounting) driven company is like an enron: flashy but ultimately hollow and vulnerable. If such a company (like AYS in the movie) has to compete on FULFILLMENT and ultimately DELIVER the goods, it simply CAN'T! Ranvir Kapoor's acting is subtle and entertaining. The electronics market is typical of so many actual Indian electronic "streets" (Lamington road, SP Road, Nehru Place), down to the morning prayer in the name of "profit"! When the protagonist is forced to sell his own company (Rocket Sales), it really appears that AYS will capitalize on this new "acquisition" as well. Imparting a "growth" story to it's shares. (wall street has seen this again and again). And for a moment it appears that money indeed flows from the poor to the rich. And protagonist's character is back at square one. The timing of the plot, and flow of dialogue has proper rhythm. THe screenplay "works". Well written.

A microcosm of the "new" age business, the new age India.

15 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
a total LOSS, 5 November 2009

This story (originally) was great and held great promise. It deals with the following themes:

Layered corruption. Journalistic methods. The role of Personal distractions in political life.

just to name a few. It astounds me how "Hollywood" can take a pre existing meaningful relevant and interesting story, spend the money behind it to hire russell crowe, affleck and helen mirren, and then BUTCHER IT like this film adaptation has done! it is now full of hackneyed commercial American clichés. the editing is choppy. character motivations are not at all clear. the story jumps from one non-sequitur to another. the timing is off. pure Hollywood tax writeoff.

I would be amazed if anyone seeing this understood it at all. total rubbish. Much better: see the original BBC series. great acting, and the story and plot are properly relayed to viewer.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
LeCarre pedigree really shows through, 21 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just saw this again after SO many years.Man it's entertaining! Rogue spy goes in search of adventure and CREATES it...whilst enriching himself. Analogy: What Jerome Kerviel did to his bank, a rogue spy does to geopolitics. Gives new meaning to term "mucking around" in your "backyard" if you are a prominent superpower (u know which one!).

The character motivation and plausible scene-play are just top notch. It all starts with Brosnan's character throwing money at a new "recruit" and then using carrot stick routine to get something useful (information). Well, as in waterboarding, if you pressure someone to "come up with info" THEY WILL! How many careers have been made at MI 5/6 this way? How many countries have been "played with"? I can't think of any other movie which dealt with such heavy subjects so delightfully. everyone can be made to harbor secret feelings of being a spy. how seductive. how profitable. I must read the book because I'm sure it is richer than the movie.

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