July’s Finest!

June 30th, 2014 by Asaf_and _Barak

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It’s hot out. Like super hot. like let’s-turn-on-the-AC & TV-and-never-leave-the-house-again-hot. Here at Jinni we thought we should prepare a care package to tide you through, so we collected the top TV shows you should watch this July. For those brave souls willing to venture out of the house, there are also four movie recommendations. So let’s go! here are July’s Finest (and hottest)!

TV Shows:

Nathan For You – For people who like their TV clever.

What? The 2nd season of Comedy Central’s comedy-docu-reality series in which the hilarious Nathan Fielder uses his business degree to help struggling companies and people, offering them offbeat and absurd strategies.

When? 1.7

Who? Nathan Fielder. This is a one man show.

The Bridge – For people who remained at the edge of their seats when the final episode of season 1 ended, and after almost a year they will finally be able to take a break and get off their seats.

What? The 2nd season of the crime thriller that’s based on the slightly superior Danish-Swedish original Bron/Broen. Will it be close plot wise to the 2nd season of its Scandinavian parent?

When? 9.7

Who? The two leads Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger are joined by Emily Rios and Matthew Lillard who were promoted to series regulars.

Extant – For those who are still waiting for Steven Spielberg’s next great Sci-Fi TV series since Taken in 2002.

What? A dramatic Sci-Fi thriller about an astronaut that returns home from a year long solo mission in space. Her experiences in space and home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.

When? 9.7

Who? Halle Berry stars alongside Goran Visnjic and Camryn Manheim in this Steven Spielberg produced show.

Masters of Sex – For fans of quality drama, great periodic reconstruction and sex.

What? The 2nd season of the critically acclaimed drama from Showtime. Clever writing and great acting are expected to elevate the series this season as well.

When? 13.7

Who? Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are joined by fresh faces Betsy Brandt and Danny Huston.

Ray Donovan – For viewers that thought that comparing the series to The Sopranos isn’t illegal.

What? About a loving father and husband who isn’t a complete stranger to the world of crime. His job is to solve complicated, confidential and controversial problems for Hollywood’s elite.

When? 13.7

Who? Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight will continue to impress as the two leads. Hank Azaria and Sherilyn Fenn are also joining the series for season 2.

The Strain – For anyone who misses The Walking Dead (but prefers vampires over zombies).

What? A doctor and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. The fate of humanity depends on them.

When? 13.7

Who? Created by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) and starring Corey Stoll (House of Cards) and David Bradley (Broadchurch).

Matador – For anyone who loves soccer and spies and wanted something that combines both.

What? Tells the story of Tony “Matador” Bravo, a popular soccer player who comes to be known as much for his playboy antics off the field as his dynamic moves on it. But what his fans and family don’t realize is that it’s all a cover – in truth, he is a skilled covert operative executing missions for a little-known branch of the CIA..

When? 15.7

Who? Created by Roberto Orci (writer of Transformers, Star Trek and Hawaii Five-0), Produced by Robert Rodriguez and stars Gabriel Luna.

The Lottery – For anyone who’s interested in watching Lifetime’s version for Children of Men.

What? Set in a world destined for extinction as women have stopped having children. When remarkably 100 embryos are successfully fertilized, a national lottery is held to decide the surrogates.

When? 20.7

Who? Created by Timothy J. Sexton who also wrote Children of Men (surprise, surprise) and starring Marley Shelton and Martin Donovan.

Manhattan– For people who like Masters of Sex but prefer the series dealt with atomic bombs instead with sex.

What? Set in Los Alamos, N.M., at the Manhattan Project during the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb, “Manhattan” explores the cost of secrets and the corrosive effect they have on individuals, families and their relationships.

When? 27.7

Who? Created by Sam Shaw (who also writes for Masters of Sex) and starring Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) and Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black).

The Honourable Woman– For everyone who ever wanted to see Homeland remade by the BBC.

What? Tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life. As a young girl, Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Now in her thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. But when she awards a lucrative contract to a Palestinian businessman, who is later found dead, she finds herself under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service.

When? 31.7

Who? Created by Hugo Blick (who also created the masterful series The Shadow Line) and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Andrew Buchan and Stephen Rea.

In the Theatres:

Tammy – For Silly humor and Mellissa Mccarthy fans.

What? Tammy goes on a road trip with her grandmother Susan Saradnon. After losing her job, car, and husband (not in that order) on the same day, Tammy goes with her grandmother on a trip to Niagara falls. Oh, and she’s running from the law.

When? 2.7

Who? First directing gig for actor Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids, Joey). Plus, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh and the well-missed Dan Akroyd.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Seems like well made action film for a fantastic Boys Night.

What? The apes are back and they’re stronger and vengeful than ever. Can the humans claim control on earth or will the apes prove themselves superior yet again?

When? 11.7

Who? Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) directs. He also worked on Felicity so he brought in Keri Russell along with Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and the man behind the ape, Andy Serkis as Caesar.

Sex Tape For date night and people who would do anything to avoid humiliation.

What? All Annie and Jay ever wanted was to have sex (don’t we all?). Well, they had sex. They even videotaped themselves having it. They even sent it to all their friends and family. Hmmm… Oops…

When? 18.7

Who? Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and directed by Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, The Dewy Cox Story).

Hercules  For heroic boys’ night.

What? Hollywood tries yet again to kickstart the Hercules franchise. Swords, Spells, and Battles in 3d.

When? 25.7

Who? Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt and Ian McShane. Directed by the skillful Brett Ratner.

Plus, notice these films as well: We have the scaryDeliver Us from Evil” (2.7), the upliftingLife Itself” (4.7) the bittersweetBoyhood” (11.7), the suspenseful sequel “The Purge: Anarchy” (18.7), the pre-teens friendly “Planes: Fire & Rescue” (18.7) the humorous and sentimentalAnd so It Goes” (18.7), The long-waited second Feature from Zach BraffWish I Was Here” (18.7), the action packed “Lucy” (25.7) the yearly Woody Allen film “Magic in the Moonlight” (25.7) and one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last features “A Most Wanted Man” (25.7). Actually the list could go on and on so as you can see, there’s plenty to see this month. Enjoy! (and wear sunscreen!)

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Jinni Wins the Oscars!

March 4th, 2014 by Ben

2 Weeks ago we here at Jinni published our predictions for the winners of the biggest categories of the 2014 Oscars. The predictions were based on a genetic comparison of the nominees Entertainment Genome profiles against those of the past category winners. We also put out a little teaser infographic the day before the ceremony based on our predictions from two weeks prior.

So here we go Jinni readers! This is us officially tootin’ our own horn!

 

We just did it as a fun little experiment as we were getting in the spirit of the awards here at HQ, but guess what boys and girls?  Jinni nailed it! 6/6 predictions FTW!

When taking a closer look at all the common threads that come together, some very interesting trends pop out at you and not only shine a light on who may win but also on the industry as a whole.

Of course, we didn’t develop the Entertainment Genome to predict awards, we were just out to help people discover what shows and movies suited to them they were missing out on. We do get approached from time to time by Hollywood folks inquiring about other ‘off-label’ uses.

This is all just a little fun and games to us, but it begs the question, “Can any other Discovery Engines understand movies well enough to make predictions?”

Consider the gauntlet thrown! Have at thee!

Till the next time

Jinni Team out! [Drops the mic]

 

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Jinni’s Bill of Entertainment Rights

December 9th, 2013 by May

Today is Human Rights Day. With all due respect to the rights of equality, free speech, etc., let’s talk about the really important rights: our entertainment rights! Without further ado, here’s Jinni’s bill of entertainment rights (and if by any remote chance you’re using another entertainment service, check if you get these rights, and then switch to Jinni :).

We have the right to mobility!
Along with our new and improved site we have recently launched a new iPad app, which already gained the title of best new app in the entertainment category. Now you can really use Jinni anywhere…
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We have the right to get personalized recommendations!
No more guessing whether we’ll like a movie or not based on external information like director, actors or genre. No more spending too much time deciding what you wanna watch. Jinni offers each registered user a complete entertainment personality with up to 12 tastes suited just for you.
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We have the right to explore by mood!
How many times you said “I feel like watching something funny/captivating/tense“? With Jinni’s mood search you can do just that! Just click the moods you’re interested in, and you’re there. You can also combine these moods with genes from other categories like plot or style to find the perfect choice for you.

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We have the right to know which friends share our movie tastes!
Our Taste Buddies feature allows you to know which friend’s recommendations you can trust to be good also for you and why.
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We have the right to know if a movie will suit us before even watching it!
Why bother wasting your time on titles you might not even like? Jinni’s “Your Match” feature allows you to see how you will likely rate a title, based on your previous ratings and tastes.
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We have the right to use a customized, personalized TV guide!
The old grid chronicles just don’t work for us in this age of countless channels and providers. Our new personalized guide allows you to see what TV shows and movies your local television provider is airing that suit your tastes.
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We have the right to tune our search and discovery!
Sometimes we want to be very precise in our search. For example, you might want a love story but not something everyone’s seen or perhaps you want a movie which is especially fast paced. Jinni’s Story Tuners help you to really fine tune your preferences.
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We have the right to find something to watch together without fighting over it!
How many times did you gather for an evening with friends, your spouse or family but could not decide what to watch? Jinni’s Watch Together feature takes everyone’s tastes into consideration and recommends the titles that are most suitable for the whole group.
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We have the right to explore only relevant providers!
Have a Netflix subscription?Addicted to HBO? Want to watch only what’s on VUDU? Jinni allow you to filter your results to just your favorite providers.
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We have the right to search in natural language!
No need to complicate yourself with professional terms. Just write what you want to watch in your own words, and Jinni will deliver.
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One for the future – we have the right to talk to our app!
We want to make life even easier for our users, so in our upcoming future releases you won’t even have to write – just talk! Our team is currently tuning our natural language understanding (NLU) interface and we will integrate into our iPad app. Follow us on facebook and twitter to know when this feature and others become available!

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Cannes 2013 – Round Up The Usual Suspects

May 13th, 2013 by Uri

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We are all creatures of habit, and the people heading Cannes Film Festival (and probably the most prestigious of them all) are not all that different, as evident from this year’s line-up, which includes many past winners. It’s also safe to say that the competition is more open this year, since the Festival’s favorite auteur of recent years, Michael Haneke (3 grand prizes in 11 years) is absent this time. Here are some choice repeat offenders, and a couple of hopefuls, we’ll be seeing this year:

Baz Luhrmann

The Australian director won a minor prize at Cannes in 1992 for the stylized romance Strictly Ballroom. More than 20 years later he returns with another film in the same vein, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola won a prize in 2006 for Marie Antoinette, a film based on a true story, which centered around a strong female presence and featured an abundance of style and fashion. Fast forward 7 years and Ms. Coppola returns with The Bling Ring, a film based on a true story, centered on a strong female presence which features an abundance of style and fashion.

Nicolas Winding Refn

A brooding Ryan Gosling as a criminal hero already brought Winding Refn the grand prize in 2011 with the rough, L.A set, neo noir Drive, so why not repeat parts of the formula, only this time set the action in Thailand? Hopefully, Only God Forgives will not follow in the footsteps of The Hangover Part II and will manage to replicate its predecessor.

The Coen Brothers

With no less than three previous wins (Barton Fink, Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There) Ethan and Joel Coen are undoubtedly well liked on the French Riviera, so Inside Llewyn Davis, their gloomy musician’s life affair, will probably be warmly received.

Jim Jarmusch

Another multiple Cannes Winner (Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train, Broken Flowers and the short Coffee and Cigarettes III), Jarmusch returns to the festival with Only Lovers Left Alive, a film that looks like a diversion from his usual oeuvre, since it deals with vampires, but, come to think of it, he will most likely portray them like all his heroes, as quirky misfits.

Steven Soderbergh

It is fitting that Soderbergh, who won in 1989 with his debut Sex, Lies, and Videotape and helped usher in a new era of independent cinema, will screen Behind the Candelabra, his self-professed last film, in the same venue. Similarly to his first film, Soderbergh’s last one also deals with sexuality, although this time in a much flashier way.

Roman Polanski

Polanski has only one Cannes win, which came pretty late in his career, for the epic The Pianist. However, Venus in Fur, his entry for the competition this year, is a little more reminiscent of his latest film, Carnage, since it’s also based on a play and seems to have the same chamber drama qualities.

Paolo Sorrentino

With Il Divo, his Cannes winner from 2008, becoming unexpectedly topical since its subject, former Italian head of state Giulio Andreotti, passed away last week, Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza may not enjoy the same success, as it brings a different, more personal, view of life in Rome.

James Gray

Being in the competition three times (The Yards, We Own The Night and Two Lovers) and never winning, James Grey can only hope that fourth time is a charm. The fact that The Immigrant is a gloomy period piece certainly won’t hurt its chances.


François Ozon

Nominated only once, a decade ago, for Swimming Pool, French director Ozon should hope to benefit from a home court advantage (as some of his compatriots have in previous years), with Jeune et jolie, an episodic and contemplative tale of a young prostitute.

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The Autism Spectrum on Screen

April 23rd, 2013 by Ran

April is Autism Awareness Month (among other things.) Autism is a good example of why awareness is very important. In the fifties, it was believed that lack of motherly love caused autism; they even gave it a name ‘Refrigerator Mother Theory’ – and you know the word ‘Theory’ makes it official. So parents of autistic kids not only had to deal with the difficulties of raising an uncommunicative child whose needs they did not fully understand, they also had to deal with the stigma of being conceived as emotionless bad parents. Knowledge about this disorder evolved over time, but not before people thought it was caused by vaccinations, prenatal stress, watching too much TV, or other factors which have since been disproven. Asperger syndrome, which now seems like the most common of conditions, was coined only in the 80s, and recognized formally in the 90s. So much has changed in our perception and treatment of autism; and let me make a (not so) bold prediction -  much will change in the future. A great medium to raise awareness for this difficult condition is the small or silver screen, but it does have its problems. Rain Man (which I forewent for originality’s sake) was the first significant film to feature an autistic man, and while everyone was moved by Dustin Hoffman’s character, for which he won a deserving Oscar, many later thought that all autistic people are wizards in math. Since then (especially in this century, when autism has become prominent in films and TV shows) and nowadays, everyone thinks that they can diagnose a person with Asperger.

Let’s take a look at those small and big screen titles that helped raise awareness for autism:

1. Adam (2009)

We’ll start off lightly with a romantic drama about an engineer with Asperger (Hugh Dancy) who falls in love with a ‘normal’ woman (Rose Byrne). Asperger seems to be comedy gold – because people who have it are usually high functioning, but socially awkward and tactless. This is because they struggle to decipher human emotions, sarcasm and other basic social skills. Luckily, this touching film does not overdo it.

2. The Black Balloon (2008)

This Australian drama deals with the heavier side of the autism spectrum. Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) is your ‘regular’ teenager trying to adjust to a new neighborhood, new school and new friends. He also deals with an autistic brother, and not the highly functioning funny one. It’s a great coming of age drama that averts clichés, deals with this subject matter with the sincerity it deserves, and presents some amazingly good acting.

3. Snow Cake (2006)

This Canadian drama rests on the shoulders of its actors: Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss. A high functioning autistic woman (Weaver) who lost her daughter in a car accident develops a strange relationship with the man who caused the accident (Rickman). In the hands of a great actress like Weaver, you can be sure that the subject of autism is dealt with much sincerity and humanity.

4. Elling (2001)

An autistic 40 year old man is thrown out of his home after his mother dies and is placed in a government home with the simple-minded and sex-obsessed Kjell. The uptight Elling and the uninhibited Kjell form a great odd couple, who somehow help each other function in a world which doesn’t really accept him. It’s an offbeat and touching Norwegian comedy, with great acting.

5. Ben X (2007)

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Apparently, outside of porn and and pictures of cats, the Internet does prove itself useful at times. Autistic people are a case in point. Since autism is mostly manifested as a severe lack of communication skills and human interaction abilities, the mediation of the computer or the web helps autistic people develop those lacking skills. This Belgian film, based on true events,  deals with this issue, with great suspense and style.

6. Mary and Max (2009)

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This Australian bittersweet animated dramedy shows how those who lack social skills find good ways to express themselves in a less hi-tech way than the web – through writing. A special friendship is formed between a young shy and lonely Australian girl and an elderly autistic and obese American man. The clay animation is excellently done, and the two misfit characters are very endearing.

7. My Name is Khan (2010)

How do you successfully combine Asperger syndrome, terrorism, 9/11 and song? Easy, make a Bollywood film. This is the journey of an autistic Muslim man (Shahrukh Khan) to the US, right after the attack on the Twin Towers and the wave of anti-Muslim sentiments that cost him his son’s life. This drama is not only for Bollywood fans, as it deals with themes like racism, fear and Islam in a very mature way.

8. Touch (2012)

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A 9/11 widower (Kiefer Sutherland) realizes that his autistic son has the ability of foreknowledge through numbers and patterns that connect us all. Together they try to prevent bad things from happening. It’s a show about redemption that blends humanity with suspense and sci-fi elements with fantasy, but it’s done in a pretty believable way.

9. Mabul (2011)

This drama from Israel shows the struggles of a family whose autistic son comes back from the institution they placed him in, after it closes down. This unwanted presence forces the family members to come face to face with their guilt of not loving their son enough and causing his condition, and with this new ‘burden’ that had landed on their shoulders. It’s an in-your-face and complex character study that will leave you speechless.

10. Parenthood (2010)

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Based on the 1989 film of the same name, Parenthood is the story of the extended Braverman family. Watching both versions will show you how far we have come in terms of awareness. While in the original film, Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen’s son has an undiagnosed disorder that causes him to be uncommunicative and behave erratically, in the new version we know the kid suffers from Asperger syndrome. The show does justice to its origin, and has great writing and a great ensemble cast.

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