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]

 

Jinni-Peak-at-the-Oscars

 

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The Best of 2013

December 30th, 2013 by Barak

During 2013, we at Jinni tried our best at doing the most important thing there is to do – watching movies and TV shows; as much as possible. So after we did such a good job and completed all of our viewing assignments (well, not really, it’s an ongoing assignment that only ends when you die) all that’s left to do is choose the best titles of the passing year (with the help of our entertainment genome, because we can’t really do anything without it).

here are our best titles of 2013:

Moving unfulfilled loveMud

Mud is a touching and heartwarming drama about love, or unrequited love to be more precise. It’s a bit slow paced, but never boring. I consider it to be the best movie of the year.

Gory fist fighting: Banshee

Banshee offers some of the best fight scenes ever seen on TV. The fight scenes are extremely violent, sometimes gory, maybe a bit over the top and they are the reason Banshee is one of the coolest, and most fun shows on TV.

Aging Tough heroes in prison: Escape Plan

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to escape from prison together and trying to survive in the mean time. I can’t ask much more from a movie. These two aren’t too old for this s**t yet. They each still have a few more good action movies in them.

Captivating talk showTalking Bad

Breaking Bad – one of the best shows of the 2000′s deserved such an admiring talk show. They discussed and analyzed each one of the last 8 episodes of the series with the help of the show’s writers and actors. It helped better understand the series and helped to properly say goodbye.

Bittersweet middle aged romance: Enough Said

The wonderful performance by James Gandolfini here just emphasizes how tragic his death was. Thinking on all the great film roles we could’ve gotten from him in the future adds a lot of bitterness to this sweet movie.

Confined, strong female presenceOrange is the New Black

Another hit series from Netflix offers a compelling ensemble cast of characters, dark and cynical humor, touching moments. It is a well done mix of humor and drama; HBO is already feeling Netflix breathing down its neck.

Sentimental coming of age: The Way, Way Back

Sam Rockwell gives one of the best performances of his career in what I believe to be one of the best coming of age movies ever made. It offers a near perfect combination of comedy and drama with a lot of heart.

Offbeat docu/mocku/reality:  Nathan for You

The funniest TV show of 2013. It’s hilarious, brilliant and offbeat, and offers a combination of silly, dry and irreverent humor. It’s sort of a parody on business marketing TV shows, but you really need to watch it to know what it’s all about. The show’s creator – Nathan Fielder, is a comic genius.

Feel good time travel: About Time

About Time is a very funny, charming, romantic and life affirming movie. If this movie won’t make you feel good I don’t know what will…Maybe sugar, lots of chocolates and ice cream.

Atmospheric and tense, orchestral scoreThe Fall

The Fall is one of the best crime series to come out of Britain in recent years. The acting here is top notch, as is the writing and the camera work, but the real secret weapon of the series is its haunting score.

Irreverent love and romance: I Give It a Year

This is a movie that asks you to forget everything you know about romantic comedies. It hilariously reinvents the genre. It was written and directed by Dan Mazer, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s writing partner in both Ali G and Borat, so it’s no wonder it’s so good.

Gloomy crimes and family relations: Ray Donovan

Sophisticated, rough and heart breaking crime drama with top notch performances all around. I think it deserves a place alongside TV’s A-list crime dramas like The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire.

Silly humored all-star cast: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

The 1st Anchorman movie was the funniest movie ever made as far as I’m concerned, a masterpiece of silly and absurd humor. Anchorman 2 lives up to its predecessor. Kristen Wiig, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Kirsten Dunst, Harrison FordSacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and John C. Reilly joined the already impressive cast from the 1st movie for this non-stop laughs sequel.

Suspenseful espionage: The Americans

Fans of Homeland who found themselves harshly disappointed from the season finale can find comfort with another superb espionage thriller – The Americans. All they have to do is replace Carrie with Kerri (Carrie Mathison with Keri Russell).

Futuristic young heroes: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games is a rarity – a clever and thought provoking movie…for teens. Not many of those around. Good thing there’s another movie in the series coming out next year.

Stylized criminal heroes: Peaky Blinders

A gangster saga that takes place around 1919 and deals with an Irish gang and the tough law enforcer out to get them. It’s an extremely good looking show and I think it’s Britain’s answer to Boardwalk Empire, and a good one at that.

Exciting ego clashRush

A well-made sports drama (if you’re not sure what well-made means watch this movie). Exciting race scenes and powerful performances by the two leads make Rush a rush.

Clever master criminal: The Blacklist

Mind games, manipulations, intrigue and unexpected plot twists, seasoned with a great performance by James Spader makes The Blacklist into a clever treat-ller (a thriller which is a treat to watch). To me, it’s like a combination between Person of Interest and Silence of the Lambs.

Thought provoking documentaryBlackfish

A fascinating documentary about a fascinating creature. It will make you think twice before you decide to visit Seaworld, and it definitely won’t make you want to work there.

Contemplative sexual relations: Masters of Sex

Talking and contemplating about sex might be enough for a network series, but this is Showtime (cable), so of course there are also a lot of explicit sex scenes here! But seriously now, it’s a high quality show about human nature, determination/obsession and… well, sex.

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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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New Summer TV for you to OMNOMNOM on

August 4th, 2013 by Barak

Can you feel the heat? Summer has arrived and with it some very interesting TV shows. While you’re sitting in your home, letting the air condition cool you off, let us recommend you 5 new TV shows that look very promising and 5 returning ones that will make this summer even hotter than it already is:

New Shows

5. Low Winter Sun

Low Winter Sun is a remake of a British series titled likewise, and it stars the same impressive leading actor (Mark Strong). AMC’s most famous crime drama, Breaking Bad, is coming to an end real soon and Low Winter Sun might be a worthy crime drama to replace the masterful show. The series was adapted to U.S TV by Chris Mundy (writer in both Hell on Wheels and Criminal Minds) and premieres August 11th.

4. The Bridge

The original Danish\Swedish TV show “The Bridge” was amazing, the plot had many twists and turns, the 2 main characters were flawed in a way that made it easy to relate to them, and the show had its own atmosphere and style that distinguished it from any other similarly themed shows. As for the American remake, I can’t really say it’s just as good, but it’s definitely what you’d call quality TV. It manages to be quite close to the original (which is good) and also have its own thing going on; which is great and makes it a must see show as far as I’m concerned.

3. Orange is the New Black


After Lilyhammer, House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and the revival of Arrested Development, now comes from Netflix – Orange is the New Black. It seems that Netflix is becoming the new HBO! A compelling ensemble cast of characters, dark and cynical humor, moving moments… the series blends nicely humor and drama. Convincing acting and brilliant writing make Orange is the New Black into one of the must see shows of this summer. It’s so hyped that you might stop existing if you won’t hurry up and watch it a.s.a.p.

2. The Fall

The Fall is one of the best crime series to come out of Britain in recent years, The acting in this series is top notch (especially from blonde (!) Gillian Anderson), and also the writing and the directing, but the series’ secret weapon is its haunting score. The Fall is a cat & mouse/detective & killer series just like another new TV show, The Following, but it’s hard to explain how superior The Fall is in comparison to The Following…

1. Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan is one of the best American crime dramas in recent years (I still don’t feel confident enough to mention it in the same sentence with Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, or The Wire, but maybe that will change soon). It’s rough, clever and tense and benefits from great performances by Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. The show’s creator\head writer – Ann Biderman (also created Southland) is a masterful storyteller and I highly recommend you tune in every week and watch!

Returning Shows

5. Suits (2011)


If you missed the 1st 2 seasons of Suits you should know it’s a very witty show with great performances from the entire cast, engaging romantic subplots and some high stakes power struggles. Season 3 started out strongly, and it seems that the wait was worth it.

4. Luther (2010)

Idris Elba does a great job here portraying a police detective on the edge, with a strong tendency toward vigilantism. Luther’s 3rd season started airing recently after a 2 year break! Way too much for the show’s fans. Season 3 offers the same cool and charismatic central character, the same violent, suspenseful and at times gory moments, but it’s a lot scarier than the 1st two seasons (I admit, after watching the 1st episode I systematically check under my bed before I go to sleep…).

3. Hell on Wheels (2011)


Hell on Wheels’ 3rd season will premier August 3rd and will be the highlight of AMC’s westerns Saturday – during the day classic western movies will air, and in the evening a new episode of Hell on Wheels. The series isn’t as good as Deadwood (then again, not many shows are), but it’s still a show every fan of westerns should watch.

2. Dexter (2006)


After 8 seasons in which we got a glimpse into the mind of a psychopath, Dexter is coming to an end (the series; or maybe also the character?). The first 3 seasons were the best of the series in my opinion, way better than the ones that followed, but I’m hoping that the 8th and final season will be good enough in order to give the show the ending it deserves.

1. Breaking Bad (2008)


One of the best shows ever made is coming to an end this summer (why oh why?!) and everyone are extremely anxious to know how…The series got darker and darker with each passing season so my guess is that it’s going to end bad (just like the 2nd word in the show’s title!). Walter and Jessie repenting for their sins, donating their money to charity and spending the rest of their lives peacefully in their suburban comfort… That’s something that’s not going to happen.

Other good shows that I neglected to mention in my post (or did I?): Under the Dome (Not close to being the new Lost, but still has its moments), Axe Cop (offbeat animated comedy from Fox), Strike Back (4th season begins August 9th), The White Queen (great…for fans of period costume dramas) and In the Flesh (if you saw The Walking Dead and World War Z but feel there aren’t enough zombies in your life).
Enjoy your summer! (Indoors watching TV of course)

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On Birthdays & the Birth of New TV Shows

April 30th, 2013 by Barak

April 18th/28th/29th – Conan O’Brien‘s, Jay Leno’s and Jerry Seinfeld’s birthdays – since this is TV icons birthday month, those responsible for some of the best past and current shows, we thought it’s a good enough reason to write about the best new TV shows (instead of recommending a Seinfeld rerun for the 100th time…) So here are 10 great new TV shows you should at least check out:

10. Rectify


Sundance channel’s original series looks and feels like quality indie cinema. It’s an absorbing, tense, psychological drama about a man who’s released from prison after 19 years (thanks to DNA evidence) and now has to get used to life in the real world outside. Its pace is slow and it takes a bit of time to get into it, but if you’re patient it will be worth your while.

9. Bates Motel


This prequel to the 1960 classic Psycho is quite far from the original, but I think that if Hitchcock was still alive today he would have been proud of this psychological thriller inspired by one of his works. Bates Motel has a creepy atmosphere, it’s tense and engaging and its leading lady Vera Farmiga is always great to watch (because she’s a great actress; and because she’s not what you’d call ugly.)

8. The Politician’s Husband


A tense political drama about blind ambition and power struggles. The two leading roles in this series, David Tenant and Emily Watson, are both superb in their roles. If you like shows like Borgen, Boss and House of Cards, The Politician’s Husband should also be right up your alley.

7. Vikings


Comparisons to Game of Thrones are inevitable, and it’s true that both shows are stylized and rough and deal with themes of intrigue and power struggles, but they aren’t that much alike. Vikings has its own thing going on, and though it’s not nearly as good as Game of Thrones, it’s still very good.

6. Hannibal


Hannibal’s cast includes Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, Hugh Dancy and Caroline Dhavernas (who was the lead in an earlier excellent Bryan Fuller series, Wonderfalls.) I think that the cast alone is a good enough reason to watch the series. Hannibal isn’t as good as the modern classic Silence of the Lambs, but it’s 10 times better than The Following (the other serial killer show that also started airing quite recently.)

5. Top of the Lake


This mystery/drama series offers great acting, a haunting atmosphere and excellent cinematography. This tense existential mini-series was made in the spirit of the best Scandinavian detective series of recent years – The Killing, Wallander and The Bridge.

4. House of Cards


This clever and deeply cynical Netflix original series offers one of Kevin Spacey‘s best performances of his esteemed career. This dark political satire shows politicians and journalists in a very negative light. Kevin Spacey’s character (Frank Underwood) is a manipulative, cunning, ultra sophisticated backstabber; and that’s why we like him. (Just kidding, if you really like him your moral compass might be broken. Or maybe you just weren’t paying attention.)

3. The Americans


FX’s new show (which takes place in the 1980′s during the cold war, with two protagonists who are undercover KGB agents) is a complex, clever, tense and suspenseful thriller. If you miss Homeland, The Americans might make your longings feel more bearable. Although it’s more similar to an Israeli series called Ta Gordin (Gordin Cell) that was already sold to NBC. The great choice of music in this fascinating cat and mouse espionage game helps build the tension and create a paranoid atmosphere.

2. Banshee


Cinemax’s (Strike Back, Hunted, Transporter) new series is executive produced by Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, True Blood), and that alone makes it a show worth checking out. It’s obvious right from the start that this is indeed a Cinemax series because all the trademarks are there (violence, sex, nudity and a bit more violence). As for Alan Ball’s touch, I can’t really see it (not gloomy enough), but it’s definitely an action/crime series of the highest quality.

1. Nathan For You


Not many people watch this show, but I honestly think it’s the funniest show on TV right now. It’s hilarious, brilliant and offbeat, and offers a combination of silly, dry and irreverent humor. It’s sort of a parody on business marketing TV shows, and it’s so different and original that it’ll probably get canceled soon… So hurry up and watch it while you still can!

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