A Survival Guide to Black Friday

November 28th, 2013 by Ran

Black Friday is upon us so I hope you completed your self-defense class or at least learned some crowd dispersing technics. Saying ‘shop in moderation’ on Black Friday seems to be as useless as saying ‘drink in moderation’ on Saint Patrick’s Day, but I’ll say it anyway. In the spirit of Monty Python’s upcoming reunion – You’re all individuals!. After this warning, I’ll move to the practical side of preparing you for this fateful day, because, as Louis Pasteur said: “Chance favours the prepared mind”. I have broken down  Black Friday into ten main characteristics and paired each one with a related film or TV show in hopes it will help you make the most of this chaotic day. Shop wisely grasshopper:

1. StoreCashback (2006)

Remember: those who serve you are also people

So obviously most of the Black Friday activity takes place in a store. While I expect your Black Friday experience will be more like The Mist, this film will show you the world of those who serve you – the sales staff.

2. ShoppingConfessions of a Shopaholic (2009)


(An unprepared Black Friday shopper)

If you’re serious with your shopping you’ll confess your vices – are you addicted to gadgets? Is it clothing? Shoes? Tanning? Unload this burden from your soul; you shall be free to confront Black Friday with a clear mind and make the most of your shopping frenzy.

3. ConsumerismExtreme Couponing (2011)

Listen, but discretion is advised…

The ‘grandmasters’ of shopping share their experiences and tips in the world of consumerism. Calling it ‘wise’ shopping is probably an overstatement, and many of the characters profiled on this show do not seem like good role models but these guys do know their shopping.

4. ObsessionHoarders (2009)

…Or this could be your fate

The shopping obsession is one of the main driving forces of Black Friday. Be aware of this obsession, try to control it, or else you’ll end up on this Docu-reality about people addicted to hoarding.

5. Corporate CrimesWal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

Knowledge is important

Might this give you pause and make you think before you buy something? Did you ever wonder how you get such cheap prices on seemingly expensive items? You probably don’t want know, but you should.

6. NightlifeNight on Earth (1991)


(Make a connection)

This is for those who are planning on camping in front of the stores at night. Here is a chance for you to see what other people are doing at night. Five cities around the world, five cab drives, five different stories – some funny, other touching, all very human, a chance to see how similar we are.

7. Race against timeThe Rock (1996)


(A good partner is essential)

Pretend that if you don’t complete your shopping by the time the stores close, nuclear missiles will destroy the city you live in. If you, like Nicolas Cage, are not a shopping expert take an old and experienced hand (Sean Connery) to help you in your mission.

8. Chaos and MayhemThe Crazies (2010)


(The average Black Friday Shopper)

People of a peaceful town are turning into lunatics. That is definitely something you should expect to be happening on Black Friday. Don’t trust anyone, nobody is immune to the shopping craze.

9. Master WarriorThe Raid (2011)


(A common interaction between shoppers on Black Friday)

This Friday will probably feel like a raid, and if you want to survive, being a master warrior would certainly help. If not, at least watch one of the best action films of this century.

10. Human NatureDogville (2003)


(Can I get directions to the mall?)

When push comes to shove, human nature is revealed in its extremes. Black Friday is just that time and there’s no one better than the somewhat crazy Lars Von Trier, to show us what we’re made of. In my book this is Lars von Trier’s masterpiece – a truly original and thought provoking film that has no landscape – because it deals with people, with brilliant, if painful, insights into the human psyche.

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The Jinni Thanksgiving Dinner

November 23rd, 2013 by Asaf

Thanksgiving is upon us. People get together. They give thanks, eat, drink and inevitably kick back to watch TV together. What makes this year different than the rest? This year Jinni’s new website and iPad App are here to get this viewing party started right! As we gather with our families who invariably have different tastes, there comes the moment where we have to decide, what oh what will we watch together? Enter Jinni! Pop over to our new Watch Together feature and receive recommendations tailored to the combined tastes of your friends and family. So thanks Jinni, and now let’s see what tastes our dinner guests are thankful for.

The Tastes of Thanks

The Tastes of Thanks

Ten cinema and TV fans gather round the table, each has a very specific idea about what they want to watch after dinner. The turkey hot and ready for some Omnomnom-ing was presented as everybody got ready to give thanks. Jordan, who’s into Hotshot heroes, was, as usual, the first to bless: “Friends, I thank Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio for their upcoming 5th collaboration, The Wolf of Wall street. It seems like such a clever and tense film and that DiCaprio… he’s just so talented, so good looking, he reminds me of me so much”. Everyone rolled their eyes and laughed used to such antics from Jordan.

Laura, who just started a new teaching job in high school, stood up. Believe it or not, she really likes titles about Teachers and students: “I wanna thank whoever thought about making a TV show based on a Bad Teacher. A seductive and manipulative teacher is something I can all relate to and can appreciate the danger it poses. That whole against the rules attitude really makes you take a second look at what you are doing and why. Everyone smiled and promised themselves they wouldn’t send their kids to Laura’s school.


That made Brooke think about her daughter, a typical high school student who’s into reality shows and Celebrity culture: ”I wanna thank god that Dancing with the stars is about to end. As you all know, this show encourages viewers participation and keeps them captivated with exciting dances and contests, and it made my daughter a real addict“. She wiped a tear from her face, remembering the balance of their last mobile invoice.

Talking about teenagers reminded Jennifer, whose taste revolves mostly around young-heroes, what she’s thankful for: “Unlike your daughter Brooke, Some kids are talented and do their best to save the day like Katniss in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. So I think we all should be real thankful for resourceful teenagers who give hope for the future”. Brooke shed another tear.

That sincere attitude made Alexander open up (in his thick southern accent): “Y’all know, I like taking long trips in our great nation, so I’m a fan of Americana and On The Road titles. I wanna thank Bruce Dern for a damn powerful performance in Nebraska. He reminded me of my estranged, aging father who also has a drinking problem. We also took a road trip in order to save our relationship. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that well and I had to abandon him midway but I heard he made it back semi-safely”.

Hearing about family problems made Chris remember the thing he’s thankful for: “I wanna thank all of you for reminding me why I’m such a big fan of single life! and now The Bachelor is about to return for another season filled with manipulations, rivalry and a gorgeous ensemble cast to remind me why I love being single”.

THE BACHELOR - "Episode 1710" - In the dramatic Season Finale, Sean made one of the most difficult choices of this life. After having his family meet both women in spectacular Chiang Rai, Thailand, and under immense pressure, he made one final, heart-wrenching decision and chose and fell in love with Catherine Giudici, on the Season Finale of "The Bachelor," MONDAY, MARCH 11 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Dave Hagerman) SEAN LOWE, CATHERINE GIUDICI

That made J.J. think about his theory regarding human relationships: “I always believed emotions are unnecessary and that’s why I’m a fan of androids and robots, they’re simply better than us. So I’m thankful for the new futuristic series Almost Human. Those androids look so cool, and they partner up with humans in order to fight crime. Could have been a great opportunity for a boys’ night, if I could just get to like humans.”

“You think your too good for us?!” Wendy couldn’t help herself. The rest of them were used to her making a scene. No wonder her taste is artists and showbiz, as she always wanted to be an actress so whenever she got upset everyone would suddenly feel like they were being forced to experience one of her many auditions. Some of them thought she should be introduced to Marki Costello, a Hollywood manager, who stars the new reality show “The Drama Queen” which revolves around her work with ambitious actors filled with desire for fame.


After Wendy’s drama queen scene, Maggie thought how she loves TV shows with a strong female presence, although she prefers them rougher, like Nikita that just got back for a 4th season: “I thank the creators for a great series about a lethal assassin and the espionage world. I also thank them for reminding the viewers how dangerous a mistreated woman could be”.

That made everyone a bit uncomfortable and so they all looked at Walt for relief, since his only point of view in life (and entertainment) is just Feel Good. “Before things get a bit out of hand” he said, “I wanna thank the good people at Disney for a Frozen thanksgiving, sharing with us yet another stylized fairytale, filled with imaginary escapades, love and romance. I just can’t wait.”

Suddenly a miraculous event occurred: the turkey started beeping! They all looked at it. JJ began fantasizing about an android turkey, while Jordan was more practical, and in a (hotshot) heroic attempt reached for it, discovering an iPad under the turkey tray! They stared at it, and suddenly the Jinni app appeared, inviting them to create their entertainment personalities and receive tastes based recommendations. After they passed the iPad between them, they realized they all have very unique tastes and there’s only one thing fitting all of them, that they could watch together after dinner – Oprah’s thanksgiving special. Thank god for Oprah!

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Giving Thanks for Great Entertainment

November 22nd, 2012 by Barak

This Thanksgiving we are grateful for our wonderful families, for our friends, for very nice coworkers, for the food on our tables, for the birds, for the trees, for the sky, for the sun, and for god not destroying us. But since this blog is about movies and TV shows, here are 10 things from the big and the small screen that we are thankful for:

10. Thanks for stylized TV shows about gangsters

Boardwalk Empire, Lilyhammer and Vegas

I think it’s very nice that cool, charismatic gangsters visit your living room (or wherever you watch TV at home) every week and instead of blackmailing you or making you offers you can’t refuse, all they do is entertain you. Boardwalk Empire was already established by Barack Obama as one as the best series on TV today, Vegas is one of the best new Fall shows, and Lilyhammer is a fantastic debut for Netflix, being their 1st original series.

9. Thanks for fun, mindless action

The Expendables 2 and Strike Back

Thinking about the meaning of life, death and love, contemplating the past and planning the future are all pretty important activities, but sometimes you just want to see tough guys blowing stuff up and killing some bad guys while you think about… well, absolutely nothing.

8. Thanks for romantic indie movies about nice people

The Giant Mechanical Man

I can’t recall when I last saw a movie with two nicer characters than the two leads in this lovely movie. If you want to see a romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher, go ahead, it’s your time that you’re wasting. But if you want to see a romantic comedy about people you can actually relate to, then this is just the right movie for you.

7. Thanks for silly and witty parodies

21 Jump Street and A Touch of Cloth

21 Jump Street was the funniest movie of the year, and surprisingly, it also won the critical acclaim, and I say surprisingly because usually critics don’t really have a sense of humor.

A Touch of Cloth, written by Charlie Brooker (the man behind Black Mirror), has so many gags that are delivered in such a fast pace that it manages to make fun of every cop crime drama ever made (well, almost).

6. Thanks for offbeat comedies about eccentric women

Damsels in Distress

I went to see this movie with no expectations whatsoever, and it absolutely da(m)zzled me. I think it’s one of the movies with the best dialogue I have ever seen/heard. But this movie is not for everyone; first, because the humor in it is drier than the desert, and second, because it’s just weird – weird in a very good sort of way, in my opinion.

5. Thanks for clever foreign thrillers


This Tarantinoesque crime thriller is violent, suspenseful, darkly funny and also a bit strange (or completely insane, depends on how open you are to certain things). There are a lot of unexpected moments in the movie that will leave you with your mouth open and at the edge of your seat.

4. Thanks for TV series about obsession

Homeland and Dexter

It seems that obsessions make really good, quality TV. In Homeland, Carrie’s obsession is the most interesting thing about the series and also what drives it (watch The Bridge if you want to see the closest thing there is to Carrie on TV). As for Dexter, the nice killer who has to kill so he kills only bad guys, season 6 was its worst by far, but season 7 is definitely making it up to the show’s viewers.

3. Thanks for captivating dramas about fatherhood

Wild Bill

I don’t have any kids, but I do have parents, and one of them is my father, so this movie really did it for me. This crime drama takes its time; the first hour is just sort of a preparation to the amazing last half hour and to the moving ending that really manages to define what it means to be a father. If you’re a father and you’re not sure what it all means, child care should force you to watch this movie.

2. Thanks for comedies about goodhearted idiots


I consider this to be the funniest sports movie since Happy Gilmore. It’s not only funny, but also surprisingly heartwarming and upbeat. Sean W. Scott was never as likable as he is in this role as a violent hockey player with a heart of gold.

1. Thanks for movies about friendship

End of Watch

With all due respect to The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers, End of Watch is without a shadow of a doubt (at least in my book) the best movie of the year. You want romance? You got it. You want suspense? There’s plenty. You want witty dialogue? It’s also there. But End of Watch is first and foremost a movie about friendship. Good friends are hard to come by, at least as good as in End of Watch.

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