Archive | May, 2012

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A Brief Report: Mechanical Man, Dark Shadows, Avengers, Battleship

Posted on 20 May 2012 by Reel Rhino

Sorry I have been checked out for a while folks…I have been busy with other stuff.  Not necessarily more important stuff, but when you get to a couple flicks a week, work a full-time job, and try to have a full life outside of all that, well just a little stuff can easily keep you from the keyboard!

I have been to some flicks, though, and for what I normally do, I will give you a word or two on each.

BATTLESHIP
I just saw it on Saturday.  It is 10X better than the critics are giving it credit for and I had a very good time watching it.  Peter Berg is a completely capable director and the effects team made their bones long ago on the Transformers trilogy.  The movie popped as far as summer blockbusters go, and it really was an enjoyable watch.  There were some great patriotic moments and I will be honest…I got some waterworks going at one point.  Battleship is everything we look for in a summer movie and I say give it a try.  4 of 5 Horns for this totally acceptable entry into the summer movie genre.

THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN
This is a great little romantic dramedy, starring Jenna Fischer, you know, Pam from The Office, and Chris Messina, a lesser known, but handsome and extremely affable actor.  The film is written and directed by Lee Kirk (who is also Fischer’s husband and baby’s Daddy).  Kirk has managed to craft an immensely likable film and for my money, I could watch Jenna Fischer in just about anything.  She is cute, easy to enjoy, and easy to relate to in the “everyperson” role.  Messina has charisma and he plays the titular role with passion.  The two of them together are extremely likable as an on-screen pair.  This is a Tribeca Film Festival selection and I had the chance to see it on Time Warner On-Demand…it is out there.  If you can find it, please give it a try.  At just over 90 minutes, it is a fast watch and really easy to digest.  4.5 of 5 Horns for this really sweet film.

DARK SHADOWS
A truly dark film, Dark Shadows has been undervalued for as good as it is.  I say that it is good, comparing it to nothing and thinking about the film on its own merit. The people involved are all talented, without a doubt, but this film is really unique and an entertaining story.  I am not the biggest Johnny Depp fan, not that crazy for Tim Burton’s filmography…I mean I like most of it, but may not love it.  But Shadows was well crafted and well made and for my money, a great time in the theater!  4 of 5 Horns

AVENGERS
Someday, I think I will compose an ode to the Avengers.  For now, I will just say that this is clearly in my top ten film of all-time…Marvel, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Joe Johnston, Louis Leterrier, and Kenneth Branagh, to name just the helmers of this great run, have pulled off the unthinkable.  This is something that I hope DC learns from and gets moving on a just as impressive run at the Justice League of America.  AVENGERS was a ridiculously awesome flick.  Let me say, re-donk-a-donk.  5 of 5 Horns

So there you have it…a mini-round-up.  I miss writing, but not at the expense of the amount of “stuff” I am getting done in the meantime.  As Arnie says it best, “I’ll be back.”  And for now, please enjoy my more brief writings.  Until later, take care!

Reel Rhino

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Outsourcing

Posted on 13 May 2012 by Thraxxus

I work in Technology by trade. I was a software developer, can still sling code in fact, but over the years my leadership skills pushed me more toward an executive role than anything and thus that is what I do now – I lead technology businesses. The reason you need some background as to what I do is the topic at hand: Outsourcing. In the USA outsourcing has become a bit of a bad word – in fact there are movies dedicated to the topic and most of them love to show how bad outsourcing really is, how it barely works, and are typically ride on the edge of full blown racism. The question is – why? Why do these movies, and moreover, why is the basic belief that outsourcing is bad to begin with?

First off we should agree on what outsourcing really is – in this article anyway. Hiring an firm that local to do some work for you is not outsourcing as I am I referring to it, rather sending work to a company overseas is. This is the taboo subject – Americans seem to hate the idea of sending work overseas – one could wonder why, and there are a multitude of answers, I want to talk about a different why though – why would someone send work overseas instead of finding a local firm to do the work? Seems like a simple question, I mean, why not go with someone closer to do your work?

The obvious answer is cost, and in most instances that is the case. Most Americans believe that the cost is direct – meaning that the labor overseas is less than it is the USA, and in most instances that is true. However, the real cost comes in other types of human resource overhead. Take a Software engineer for instance. In the USA a software engineer, one with any talent, will cost you about 100k/year. Adding in the standard overhead for having an employee in the USA, 33%, and you end up with 133k per year – for a resource that is arguably unproven – to you.

So say you can get the same skill set and experience for less than half that price? Now add in the concept that if the resource doesn’t pan out almost immediately that you can have them replaced, immediately, and no detriment to you. You can’t do this easily in the USA – in fact there are often negative things as an employer for just cutting a team member. I just spoke with a guy today that said his company had to write him up three times before they could threaten his job – so basically they manufactured reasons to write him up. How tedious.

If you can get local, do it. That said if you have needs for your company and can’t find local help at a decent price then there is nothing wrong with outsourcing. Really. We Americans have grown fat and lazy and have somehow graduated to believing that the world owes us something. News flash: the world doesn’t owe you a damn thing. So if you are too stuck up or proud to take that job then don’t bitch about someone else taking it, regardless of where they live.

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