Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I am going crazy

There must be something wrong with me. Despite all clues pointing to the Emperor's clothes being transparent, they continue to not see. I am, of course, talking about facebook's revitalised stock price. Even with all these sad-sacks throwing millions of dollars in ad revenue at FB, I do not know how on earth the stock price can possibly reflect reality.

Google is a proven cash cow / golden goose hybrid with a proven revenue earning model, with net revenue of  $2.89 billion (great), a stock price of $758 and an earnings per share ratio of 32 (very good). To put it another way, for every share out there the company is earning an incredible $24,256.

Apple has a very strong revenue model (high profit margins), with net revenue of $13.1 billion (wow), a stock price of $459 and an earnings per share ratio of 44.1 (amazing). To put it another way, for every share out there the company is earning an amazing $20,241.

Ebay is a business built upon a core revenue model, with net revenue of $3.38 billion (great),  a stock price of $56 and an earnings per share ratio of 2 (goodish). To put it another way, for every share out there the company is earning $113.

Facebook is a 'business' built around doing social stuff ... oh, and embedding annoying ads that no one clicks on and/or games that no one buys premium stuff for, with net revenue last quarter of $131 million (fine), a stock price of $31 and an earnings per share ratio of 0.11 (ugh). To put it another way, for every share out there the company is earning $3.41.

Am I missing something? Do those numbers not disturb you? In response facebook is performing a $2 billion buy back to improve the health of their EPS (earnings per share) ratio. When facebook's company is apparently worth the same as Google or Apple but doesn't have anything resembling the net revenue or earning potential, how can this not be a dollar share?

I'll leave it for you to mull over. Class dismissed.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ironing out the kinks

I'm going through a movie review phase, so bear with me ...

I recently saw a film called The Man With the Iron Fists and it's a love letter to the classic kung-fu films that littered the 70-80's, with notable contributors being Jet Li and Jackie Chan (to name but a few). Later on a hip hop/rap group was inspired by this movie gold so much so that they created a new sound by sampling the effects and music of the films into 'tight loops' that were 'tha bomb' of the late eighties/early nineties. That group was called the Wu-Tang Clan, headed up by the masterful productionist, The Rza.

Why am I telling you this? Well, this film is written, directed and starring Mr Rza ... and he also did the score. I think if you attempt to review this film by western standards, you will think this is complete dreck. By 'ode to kung-fu' standards, it's good but it still weak where it counts. This is also 'presented by Tarantino.' because I don't know of any other director as much in love with classic films as he is. I think he contributed with the gore and maybe some of the dialogue (and one overhead shot straight out of Kill Bill: Volume 1).

Now, my favourite Kung-Fu film is called Snake in the Eagle's Shadow. I recommend the US dub because it is so terribly brilliant. The story is weak but the action is brilliant. The dub is stupendous in the cheesiest bad dub kind of way. Watch it! Now, before you think that my mind is prattling, if you read between the lines you will understand why the Rza's film is intentionally terrible. It's because the original films were quite awful ... but brilliant to watch. Cheesy antics, average acting and corny dialogue ... but BRILLIANT action / choreography. That's Kung-Fu film in its essence.

Having said that, I would have liked the Rza to stay behind the camera but I can understand his desire to be part of Kung-Fu lore even if the end result is pretty darn weak. The choreography is fine but slow by 'mainland China' standards. There are also a few too many character arcs and the film takes itself a little too seriously (although the main baddie's hair is hilarious) for it to get a passing grade by attempting to play the kung-fu/silly card. Too much focus on gore and too little on the choreography is where the film lets itself down.

I applaud The Rza for making the film ... it's just a shame that he missed the point of Kung-Fu.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My mind is mush

I watched the film Upside Down recently and, god, it couldn't have been written worse if the responsibility had been left to the drunken ramblings of a troupe of peyote-drinking retarded chimpanzees mashing their mutilated stumps for hands against a typewriter where the only keys that worked were s, u, c and k.

This film follows the romantic formula to a tee, except it does everything in its ability to be even less intelligible by discrediting science in the process. The story's premise destroys the basis of physics to such an incredible degree that even a five-year old would state that this film makes no sense and would not have a shadow of a doubt that he was correct in his assessment.

So, the premise is that you have two planets that are perfectly aligned (they spin at the same speed, with the exact same orbit and I would surmise the same mass, considering they're not smashing into each other) such that there is a bridge that transitions between the two of them. So far, so unrealistic. Now here comes the kicker; the gravity doesn't work the same between planets. Oof. Items from the one planet only interact with the gravity of their planet. Ouch. If these foreign elements are retained too long on the other planet, they burn up. Owowowow. Also this gravity apparently only affects certain aspects at certain times (or at least the way that this film conveys it). All this 'science' is introduced so that we can have the world's most convoluted romance story possible:  (narrator voice)

Two people, living in separate worlds ... but connected by love

I'm not sure why they needed to go to such silly extents to create such a convoluted mechanism to keep them apart. Anyway the cereal box summary is: They meet each other at the closest point between the two worlds and fall in love. For whatever reason, the people of either side of the planet deny people from the other side from interacting with each other and she falls back to her planet and hits her head. Dufus (that's what I'm calling him) thinks she's dead until he sees her on TV and then finds a means of reconnecting with her ... although she doesn't remember him (quelle contrived). The visuals are really quite good but, if you've seen inception (or Ring), you should be pretty used to seeing people walking on the ceiling so that novelty wears off pretty quickly. 

And so, to summarise, this was not my cup of tea. This film is like a nightmare that you keep hoping to wake up from ... until you realise you are awake and you are actually watching your mind unravel as you try to make sense of all the inconsistencies. If you do still want to watch this, do it while stoned or heavily inebriated. You have been warned.