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Judge David Ryan • Location: Natick, MA
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The HSX Report -- 5/23/07
May 22nd, 2007 10:59PM

Today's topic: technology sucks.

I spent an hour writing up today's blog, and then -- because nothing ever saves itself on the internet -- I lost the entire thing. Hopefully I can remember what I wrote....

The Girl from IPOnima

Two choices today: Bruce Willis as a badass high school principal, or a documentary about the abortion debate. Can you guess which one I recommend avoiding?

Assassination of a High School President (AOHSP) is the former. One problem: it doesn't look like Bruce's character is the real star of the film. Still, Bruce should be back in vogue after Die Hard, so there's potential here. On the other hand, it's still in development (not production), so Bruce could pull out entirely tomorrow for all we know. It's just a hunch, but at H$18, I'm willing to take the risk in exchange for a possible $50M film.

Lake of Fire (LKOFR) is the latter. Avoid like the plague.

Also on tap today are the options for the June 1st openers. Of the three, Knocked Up is probably the safest bet to succeed, but it's tantalizingly priced at a H$30 strike. The market is predicting the film to be right in that range -- which would result in both the call and the put being losers. I think the film will be more successful than the market predicts, and intend to buy up the call. Use your own judgment here. There's no real buzz around the creepy-looking Kevin Costner/Dane Cook Mr. Brooks, priced with a strike of H$15. Barring further information, I'd avoid its options right now. If the call gets up into the H$5-H$10 range, though, I'd think about shorting it. Gracie is about girls' high school sports. Ignore it. Audiences will.

Today's Feature: What the Shizzle?

Welcome to "What the Shizzle?", where I spotlight a stock that's inexplicably priced for some reason. Unfortunately, the market caught up to me before I could run this, and jacked the stock price up H$8.125 yesterday... so my shizzle shout out in the direction of The Simpsons Movie (SIMPS) has less of an impact now. But still... everyone loves the Simpsons, right? Why is this stock so cheap vis-a-vis other blockbuster-potential films of the summer? I think people are worried that this film won't meet the mom-and-pop test: is it the kind of film you can see your mother and father going to see? I think that at this point the Simpsons are so culturally ingrained in society that the film will appeal to a huge audience, not just college kids and young hipsters. Will it do Shrek or Spider-man money? Probably not -- but it could. H$124 is still a deal for this film, I think. And here's hoping this doesn't come back to bite me in July....

See you all tomorrow. As always, comments and suggestions appreciated, either in the Witness Box or via mail. Keep on trading. Excelsior!


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