Daily Archives: 06/26/2012

“Battleship” box office bomb baffles Berg

In “No shizz, Sherlock” news today comes “Battleship” director Peter Berg‘s assertion that his film flopped so that “The Avengers” could soar at the box office, like Tony Stark carting Hawkeye up to a better vantage point.  Or something.

“The reviews! They burn!”

Citing the unprecedented success of the Marvel Studios superhero epic having a knock-on effect on other would-be summer blockbuster fare in the marketplace, Berg still holds out hope for a sequel based on decent international business – the film’s US performance makes for less hopeful reading to anybody but the terminally optimistic.

Well, you can’t argue against a US box office take of $600 million but to cite “The Avengers” as the sole reason for your film under-performing is to ignore the rather more accurate idea that “Battleship” is so asinine, noisy and dim-witted that it makes your average Joel Schumacher/Rob Cohen/Michael Bay popcorn flick look like a Ken Loach film and reduces the IQ of anybody unlucky enough to be exposed to it for more than two minutes.

I like stupid, undemanding, glitzy genre crap – see my Resident Evil/“Underworld” fandom for ample evidence of that – and even I couldn’t drag myself to a cineplex to behold the spectacle of Rihanna pretending to be a naval officer and various aliens mocking our Earth Physics in the name of entertainment.

Once it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray, I might give the film a go but I don’t expect it to be anything more than shrill and silly, uber-patriotic fluff.  Weirdly, Peter Berg seems to believe that he’s made an important film.  One of us is right, and I don’t think that it’s him…

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Filed under Films, Geekery

Today, in doomed Government stupidity

Yep, feels pretty much like he’s got his eyes on all of us…

My position on copyright infringement and piracy is pretty clear, I think. It hurts creative industries and helps to foster a culture in which somebody’s art doesn’t have any value – if you can steal it via the internet then why would you think that the MP3 or movie file you’ve downloaded would have any financial worth?

That said, the UK government has a new, asinine idea in the fight against intellectual property theft which adequately illustrates how genuinely clueless they are about technology.

Under new proposals, if you’ve been accused by a rights holder of illegally downloading their creative works, you will have to pay £20.00 for the privilege of defending yourself.

Whilst this would be a fine way to conduct ourselves if the process of bringing somebody to court for these kinds of offences was in any way clear-cut, the nature of wireless broadband connections, unsecured routers and general I.T. ignorance means that any number of entirely innocent people could find themselves facing charges and having to pay to defend themselves purely because they lack the wherewithal to securely comport themselves on the internet.

For that reason alone, I can’t see this kind of legislation standing up in court – we would have to live in a culture where it was a legally enforceable condition of internet use that your hardware was secure and password-protected, so as to prevent such potential miscarriages of justice from occurring.  And how likely is it that your ageing ‘Silver Surfer’ relatives are going to be taken to court because they neglected to stop a grandchild from torrenting porn or the new Bruno Mars CD on their internet connection through ignorance of securing their laptop and router?

I’d love to see the government which tried to enforce that law.

Given that we live in a society where nuisance legal firms and shady right holders troll the unaware and get rich on the basis of spurious ‘pay up or be sued’ requests based on nothing more than an IP address – not the safest of identifying characteristics – I worry that this kind of thing will target exactly the wrong, tech-illiterate folks and let those savvy enough to circumvent elementary barriers to get away with merrily torrenting all the while.

Paying to defend yourself against potentially baseless allegations from cynical rip-off merchants – isn’t it great to know that you live in a country where the idea of being innocent until proven guilty is a thing of the past?

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Filed under Geekery

Maiden America

Oh, Eddie – why must you desert me?

Picture via Iron Maiden.com

Over on the Metal Hammer blog you can get a look at the current Iron Maiden US tour, “Maiden England“, which is taking the founding fathers of modern metal to Stateside cities – Charlotte, North Carolina, for example – where the band haven’t played since 1988.

Puts a two or three wait between UK Maiden dates into perspective, doesn’t it?

You can read more at Iron Maiden’s site – in the meantime, I’ll be working on my teleportation device, so that I can get my wizened butt into an Enormodome to take in the awesome.

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Filed under Geekery, Music

Today, in amazing album covers…

Image

There are some album covers which grab your attention – and then there’s artwork like that above, which graces the current release by Norwegian Power-Prog Metal band, Tomorrow’s Outlook.

So many questions arise from it, not the least of which is “When did the fragile truce between the Polar Bear and Demonic Wraith community become so strained that violence ensued?  And what’s that flying car got to do with it?”

I regret that I can offer you little by way of illumination and can only gaze, open-mouthed, at that extraordinary cover art – this isn’t the kind of thing which one typically gets from You Me At Six and I think that I can confidently say that their fans are the poorer for not having Josh YMAS on their CD sleeves fighting off dragons and junk.

Missed opportunities, folks, missed opportunities…

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Filed under Music