Operation Finale

randomlychad  —  August 29, 2018 — Leave a comment

Operation Finale

Operation Finale, brings to life one of the most daring covert operations in modern history. Starring Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler’s List) and Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, X-Men: Apocalypse), the film vividly captures the ingenious and brilliantly executed mission to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.

Fifteen years after the end of World War II, acting on irrefutable evidence, a top-secret team of Israeli agents travel to Argentina where Eichmann (Kingsley) has been in hiding together with his family under an alias Ricardo Klement and execute an extremely dangerous abduction. In attempting to sneak him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel while being pursued by the country’s right-wing forces, agent Peter Malkin (Isaac) is forced to engage Eichmann in an intense and gripping game of cat-and-mouse with life-and-death stakes.

Operation Finale releases in theaters on August 29.

See the Trailer: https://operationfinalefilm.com/

So. Moviepass is another in a long, long long of companies that way over-promised, and woefully underdelivered. Ostensibly a NetFlix for the theatergoer, promising one movie/day for $9.95/mo, the service fast hemorrhaged cash. To the point where the service was frequently unavailable. In addition to which, the company imposed blackouts on the most popular titles, imposed surge pricing, floated the idea of a pricier service, etc.

All of the above transpired without prior communication to its customers. In other words, no moviez for yuo!!!!

Of course none of these restrictions affected MoviePass’s eTicketing partners; all shows were available. Conveniently giving the company an out if anyone were to level an accusation of a material change in the terms of service. Thing is, eTicket theaters are about as readily available as meat in a vegan deli.

The latest changes to come down the pike from CEO Mitch Lowe are as follows:

No longer will subscribers be able to see one movie/day; now it’s three/month, with a possible discount on additional tickets.

The blackouts continue to be in effect, e.g., it appears that from the slate of titles in theaters now, customers have a field of two to choose from on any given day.

From virtually unlimited to this–in less than year. In addition to which, where one previously could view a title more than once, this has been disallowed. No repeat screenings, yuo!!!!

Monthly subscribers will see the transition to the new 3 movies/month plan towards the end of August, 2018. Pre-paid customers will maintain previous terms of service until renewal date.

All of which brings me to the following proposal. This will require some advance planning, but is quite doable. To get the most out of MoviePass going forwards, I submit that customers could:

1) Proceed to theater supported by service.

2) Check-in to an available screening.

3) Purchase ticket using MoviePass card.

4) Take picture of ticket of required by app (supposed to be going away).

5) Exchange ticket at box for the movie one really wants to see, or wait until after showtime to exchange ticket for re-admit pass.

Following the above, one could potentially bypass the arbitrary restrictions enforced by MoviePass, thereby approximating the service’s original promise.*

*The foregoing is provided for informational purposes only; following the steps could result in revokation of one’s MoviePass subscription. The author does not condone fraud of any kind, no matter how wonky a service provider has become. And remember: is it’s not personal, it’s business.

An Empty Room

randomlychad  —  August 16, 2018 — Leave a comment

Across the hall, and a little to the left, just a few feet over beige carpeting from the master bedroom doors is a room which has been continuously occupied for the past seventeen years. The sounds of bedtime Bible stories, of laughter, tears, Nerf gun wars echo down to me over the years. Late night gaming, fragging zombies, the smells of sweat (teen spirit) and Axe… The sounds and smells of a life; of a boy waking, sleeping, farting, growing have faded into memory.

Because the room, the one across the hall from mine, now lies empty. The door, marked with the imprint of a fist flung in frustration, and so often closed over the past few years, now stands open–a testament to its utter lack of occupancy. It’s normal, natural, healthy, for children to grow, and go, but it all seems so soon. “Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the years,” as the song goes. “I don’t remember growing older…” When did he? Whither that little boy with his thick, brown mop of hair, mischievous as the day is long? Where did he go?

When did become the young man who has now gone out into the wide world on his own?

I see that empty room–passing by it in morning as I’m heading downstairs, walking past it again as head into my bedroom in the evening…

I see it, and can’t help the ache welling up in me. Twenty years have come and gone since he was born, but it feels like no time at all. But I wanted more of it. One more day being a family of four, one more meal together, one more movie night, one more night knowing we were all safe and sound together under our roof. But it was not to be. He was ready; it was time to spread his wings, and fly the nest his mother and I built stick-by-stick, branch-by-branch, over the long years.

It’s normal, natural, right for him to go, but dammit it hurts!

His empty room isn’t just a room; every time I see it, walk past it, stand in the doorway, not crossing its threshold, I the ache of an empty place in my soul. He doesn’t need me in the ways that he used to. The relationship, as it should, is changed. Began changing many long, moons ago. But it nevertheless caught me off guard, took me by surprise…

Knocked the wind right out of my sails.

My son has moved out. And I didn’t quite expect to feel all these feels. But there it is regardless. I love him. And that’s what matters. I expect that empty room-sized ache will continue for sometime, to be perhaps eventually swallowed up by other joys someday as his bachelorhood eventually becomes marriage, begets grandchildren.

Aches and joys and empty rooms… Such is the stuff of life. The good, and the bad.

May we savor every moment, every breath.

Taking the challenge out of life also largely takes the fun out of it as well. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m most thankful for an indoor job, and the ability to provide for my family it affords me. I’m saying that if we aren’t on guard against it that it’s altogether too easy to wake up one day as Miss Havisham (from Great Expectations), wondering why life seems to be something that happens to someone else (just not, you know, us).

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Creed II is coming this fall; as with all Rocky stories, it’s about overcoming obstacles, going the distance. Fundamentally, that is the element of story itself: a character who wants something, endures hardships, and overcomes obstacles to achieve that thing. The fact of the matter is that life is story. We are all of us living a story–living stories. Where we get tripped up is that we often delude ourselves into the belief that life is a movie about moi.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I don’t want to speak for you, but in my life those times when I think I’m entitled to this, that, or the other thing–that life owes me–are generally the darkest, bleakest days. Not to say that there’s not such a thing a healthy belief in one’s self, one’s abilities, but rather that this requires an honest, humble assessment.

And it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I, we, need others around to: encourage, rebuke, guide, cheer. Often we have to get out our own way to hear just what others have to say. I mean it’s true in life, and it’s true in the Rocky films. Rocky wouldn’t be the Rocky we’ve all come to know and love without: Mickey, Apollo, Adrian, Paulie, and now Creed. And Creed wouldn’t be who he is without Rocky by his side.

That’s really the crux of it: we, like Rocky, have to be willing to put in the hard work, believe we can even when it feels like we can’t, listen to the wisdom of others, get out of our own way, then invest in others, and pass the hard won lessons on.

Not to put too personal a spin on it, but my wife and I are in a season now where we are facing difficult health challenges, are in a season of transition as our oldest child is preparing to leave home, and our younger one approaches the teen years. All in the midst of financial concerns, helping our aging parents, looking towards our own retirement years (not really all that far off). And honestly some days it doesn’t feel as if we’re overcoming at all.

It’s rough. But it’s life. And if there’s one things that’s true it’s that if there’s any blessing to pain, any comfort in it, it’s that it means we’re still alive and kicking. Still in the arena. To feel pain one has to be alive. Let’s be honest: the dead don’t feel it. And truthfully, more than the good times–the easy times–it’s the hard times that shape us. If my faith in God has taught me anything it’s that. In a sense, Rocky (and Creed after him) is like Jesus, “who for the joy set before him endure the cross (the training, the blows, the scorn), despising the shame.”

So, yes, the hard times shape us–If we allow them to.

I’m still walking through it. My wife is walking through it. And chances are so are you.

How do you go the distance in your life?