Tag Archives: HBO

Infographic: Does Big Business Control the World?

The infographic here reminds me of the 1970’s movie Rollerball, in which the world was controlled by seven corporations: food, energy, entertainment, transportation, etc. It seemed at the time, when I saw it, like a reasonable guess at the future.

But then there’s the change led by technology, which seems to splinter the world and allow for millions upon millions of individual business and smaller companies. So who knows?

I like the collection of related facts in this infographic. 

The Best Country in the World

On July 4 we celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. I like the sentiment expressed in this HBO series, from about the third to the eighth minute 3 (3:23 to 8:00). And please stay with it through the positive portion, after the rant, beginning at 6:44). This is from a new HBO series called The Newsroom, which was first broadcast June 25. It’s written by Aaron Sorkin, who also did West Wing and Studio 60, shows I consider thoughtful as well as entertaining. I loved the first episode, and so did most critics; but in respect of full disclosure, some complained that it was too much Aaron Sorkin diatribe.

By the way, I’m intrigued by what HBO is doing with the video here. It isn’t stolen. I got it off the HBO website which offered the embed code free, meaning that you are welcome to watch the full episode here or on a lot of other sites (I assume) that chose to embed it. That’s an interesting marketing/commercial decision, no?
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Be a Fly on the Wall as Wall Street Crumbles

I watched Too Big to Fail last night. It’s a 2011 made-for-HBO movie that makes a great drama taken (or so it seems) from actual events. I watched like a fly on the wall as then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen and others dealt with the financial meltdown of 2008. movie poster

The first reason I liked it was just plain drama. Entertainment value. Plot, suspense, people in crisis, real tension, frustrations, failures, and outcomes. It’s a reminder that there is real drama in politics, crisis, business, finance, and people making tough decisions that affect a lot of people. Even if all the action is in offices and conference rooms. It doesn’t take car chases and crime stories to make drama and suspense. Talking, just plain talking, can be extremely dramatic when real outcomes are at stake. 

The second reason I like it was that it rings true. It feels like watching  real history, closeup, behind closed doors, as it happened. I can’t say how accurate it is, but it has no trouble splicing in real news coverage of real events. It starts with the fall of Lehman Brothers, continues through the next few weeks, the negotiation of the big banking bailout. It’s a strong cast (James Woods, John Heard, William Hurt, Cynthia Nixon, Paul Giamatti, Kathy Baker, and a surprisingly long list of other stars). And they play real people (Paulsen, Timothy Geitner, Warren Buffet, Ben Bernanke, and CEOs of a dozen top financial institutions, among others). 

I checked it out on IMDB and the highlighted reviews don’t sound that great, but it has a 7.2 star rating, which is very high. 

(Image: courtesy of moviegoods.com, which sells posters)