Comcast and Netflix Reach Deal on Service

Comcast, the country’s largest cable and broadband provider, and Netflix, the giant television and movie streaming service, announced an agreement Sunday in which Netflix will pay Comcast for faster and more reliable access to Comcast’s subscribers.

The deal is a milestone in the history of the Internet, where content providers like Netflix generally have not had to pay for access to the customers of a broadband provider.

But the growing power of broadband companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T has given those companies increased leverage over sites whose traffic gobbles up chunks of a network’s capacity. Netflix is one of those sites, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all Internet traffic at peak hours.

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The Monuments Men

All of us have heard about instances when movies get stuck in the cans or not considered saleable, big and known stars out of generosity, contribute their presence in a few scenes/songs and bail those films out.

Sadly, “The Monuments Men” gives you such an impression. (Budget: USD70 MN as per IMDB; No songs)

Directed by George Clooney and supported by an ensemble cast, the movie fails to entertain normal movie going audience with little or no interest in the Arts department. While the Hitle’rs vision to wipe out all the paintings, sculpture etc of great artists is indeed scary and any effort to save it is laudable, the cinematic portrayal of it doesn’t really add up. Perhaps this is the reason why, the character played by George Clooney repeatedly voice overs the question, ‘Is Art really worth all their trouble?’. This question seeps into the story telling and the end product resembles a cross between a History Channel Documentary and a ‘Dirty Dozen’ movie, lacking their respective depth and fun.

Only die hard fans of Bill Murray/Matt Damon/George Clooney (like me),  will be able to sit through the movie and then come out of the movie hall justifying the time and expense in watching it.


Monsoon Wedding (2001) is probably the first Indian film that I can recall which dealt with child abuse in a Hindu joint family. Director Mira Nair reveals it towards the end and just when you feel it was nothing more than a screenplay gimmick, she throws in couple of memorable scenes featuring the veteran, Naseeruddin Shah. In the end, one gets a feeling that  the issue has been dealt sensitively yet sternly atleast in those few moments on screen.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about ‘Highway’.

Director Imtiaz Ali uses this issue as a mere justification for the heroine’s ‘ghutan’ (suffocation) and her fascination to hit the road (as revealed in the movie). Towards the end of the movie, when he is presented with a similar opportunity, like in Monsoon Wedding, he squanders it away by limiting it to the heroine’s outburst, while the parents are mute spectators.

Having said that the first half of the film is decently written and most of the scenes keep you interested with a couple of quirky characters thrown in. It is the second half that tests your patience, with visuals dominating the proceedings and the story halting at predicted stops.

Alia Bhatt is outstanding. Period.  But the film is just too big for her shoulders.