Category : movie

Somebody pinch me. This sounds like a shitty Johnny Depp movie (to be fair, the first one was good).

First, let me say that I don’t condone the taking of hostages (unless it’s an underrated Kevin Spacey and Samuel L. Jackson movie) and some of these pirates are clearly assholes.

But a large portion of them are fishermen who got sick and tired of seeing European vessels dumping toxic waste in Somalian waters. Johann Hari wrote a great short article on the piracy issue entitled You Are Being Lied to About Pirates. Here’s an excerpt:

In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

This is an environmental war.

Apparently Europe and America feel they have not raped the African continent enough and are engaging in a propaganda war against the “pirates” in order to justify continued presence in the area and as a convenient distraction from the foundering economy.

Just a reminder: Do not believe the mainstream media, especially when they get whipped into a frenzy like they are now. When the media is all aligned on an issue you can bet they’re wrong or lying. The pirates scare is Class A bullshit and should be treated as such. If we had more journalists like Hari this wouldn’t be a problem, but most will breathlessly recount whatever government officials tell them.

Dig deeper. There’s more to this story than the corporate media will ever report.

But where did the 12 crystal skulls come from and do we need to gather them by Dec. 12th, 2012 to stop the Earth from flipping over?!! Anybody know where the 13th skull can be found?! Paging Dr. Indiana Jones…

But though no crystal skull yet found at archaeological digs has proved to be authentic, the 12 located around the world continue to arouse interest and speculation.

Apart from the Paris, London and Smithsonian skulls, nine belong to private individuals — the skull of destiny, the Sha-Na-Ra skull, the synergy skull, the Max skull, the Maya skull, a so-called E.T. skull, the amethyst skull, the reliquary cross skull and the pink crystal skull.

Each skull was supposed to correspond to 12 worlds in which human life was present. They were brought by the Itza, the ancient people of Atlantis, to their civilisation in order to pass on their knowledge to man.

The 13th world, the land, also had its own crystal skull, and all 13 skulls were kept in a great pyramid by the Olmecs, the Mayas and ultimately the Aztecs.

The Aztecs are said to have been responsible for the dispersal and loss of the skulls, which when brought together possessed great powers, including being lined up on the last day of the Maya calendar — December 21, 2012 — to prevent the earth from tipping over.

Yes, this all may be a bunch of mumbo jumbo but I think it’s pretty fucking cool. After all, this is the stuff great movie plots are made from.

Wouldn’t it be cool to own one of these skulls? Imagine whipping it out at parties: “Yeah, this is an ancient Olmec skull that was brought to South America by the escapees from Atlantis. It needs to be gathered with the other skulls on December 21, 2012 or we’re all fucked. Pretty sweet, eh? I had to kill a bunch of Nazis to get it.”

Ah, true fiction. Chicks dig guys with ancient crystal skulls possessing mysterious powers… or so I’ve heard.

Digg.com pioneered social media and social bookmarking. They helped create a community who believed in the “wisdom of the crowd“, but today the crowd bit back.

After Digg started burying stories and deleting user accounts because of the HD-DVD crack controversy the Digg community hit back the only way they knew how: They took over Digg’s front page. As of 11:15 pm CST, every single story on Digg’s coveted front page has something to do with the suppressed number.

The hexadecimal number ( 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 ) unlocks the DRM copy-protection on HD-DVD discs. HD-DVD is the successor to DVD, which is already cracked. Blu-Ray is apparently affected as well since it also uses the AACS content-scrambling system that was designed to restrict who can watch the next-generation movie discs.

It was revealed that the HD-DVD group was a sponsor of Digg’s podcast. The blatant conflict of interest riled up the Digg community, which has taken the story to other social media sites such as Reddit and even the old standard, Slashdot, which has added digg-like features such as the Firehose.

It’s fair to say the internet community has been in open revolt all day, against a site that was until yesterday a shining example of how Web 2.0 businesses can work — trust your users. Digg has apparently forgotten that lesson and has sided with corporate interests and knee-jerk lawsuit-phobia instead of it’s own users — the people who (literally) make the site work. Unfortunately, it looks like Wikipedia is falling into the same trap (although it often freezes pages during periods of great controversy to prevent editing wars).

With the incredible storm of rebellion racing across the internet there doesn’t seem to be a way out of this mess for Digg. Far from blowing over, the brouhaha appears to be getting worse. Digg’s half-assed attempt at putting out this fire only fanned the flames. It appears Digg might have temporarily blocked new story submisisons, but the link appears to be working now.

Diggers are pointing out the fact that Reddit and Slashdot have not taken down stories concerning the suppressed number, nor have they deleted comments. Because of that it’s looking more and more like a situation that Digg and Digg alone created through heavy-handed policing (which is no doubt allowed by their EULA) and overreaction in general, all of which has led to the current PR shitstorm.

Far from suppressing the number Digg has managed to enshrine it for all time in the annals of internet history. It’s interesting that it happened on May 1st, International Workers’ Day. Hopefully today will long be remembered as the day when the internet community took a stand against the evil DMCA, the law which is at the root of the problem.

Let no one say the social media community is afraid to bite the hand that feeds.

Update (5-2-07): Digg has come to their senses and declared that it will no longer delete posts containing the suppressed number. That’s probably wise since they would’ve had to ban half their users and remove all the stories from their front page for several hours. A little late, but the users have spoken, and Digg finally decided to listen.


09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

It's just a string of numbers and letters, right?

A simple, almost random, collection of hexadecimal characters.

No harm could come from posting them, right?

I hope that's the case
.

Digg has censored this number and any story submissions or comments referencing it have been buried (well, they haven't found all the comments). Peoples' accounts have been deleted simply for submitting it. Amazing, isn't it?...

Makes you wonder why.

This is why.

In a nutshell: It's the processing key for HD-DVD movies, enabling users to crack the DRM and watch the movie on non-approved hardware (like Linux).

Please, spread this number around. The idea of censoring a number is so silly and totalitarian that I can't sit by in idle silence. We have to resist.

FuglyBack

Just got back from Toronto and on the way back, in the airport I saw a little 8 year old girl on the pudgy side with those multicolor cornrows that all the girls get when they go to somewhere tropical for spring break… and I thought: “She’s bringing fugly back.”

Yeah, it’s pretty awful, I know. But it was one of those thought-portmanteaus or something… You know, when two thoughts get mushed together. I took some, like.. “thought dough” and kind of merged it before I realized how totally cruel that shit is. But it’s still funny, yo!

I’m sure you all hate me know, but I’m bringing brutal honesty back, like Randal tried to bring back “porch monkey” in clerks II. Oh yeah, and it’s a reference to Justin Timberlake and his SexyBack thing-song. I’m wasn’t aware sexy left, but it’s a smart move on JT’s part. Bringing back something that never left is very easy. However, convincing people that you brought it back is the key to deluding the helpless public.

You may thing you’ll get away with this, Justin — but I’m on to you!! And your little SneakyBack shit, too. Fucker.

Anyway, I’m tired and my feet hurt. Bad. That concludes this post… Stay fugly, Toronto.

Idiocracy is Brilliant

I just saw Mike Judge’s new movie, Idiocracy, and it’s such a brilliant satire that I can see why Fox tried to bury it.

It’s a potent look at our present, despite the fact that the movie is set in 2505. Intelligence declined precipitously over 5 centuries, leaving the people of 2505 incredibly stupid. Luke Wilson’s character, Joe, is frozen cryogenically for 500 years and when he (implausibly) wakes up to discover this horrific fact he is arrested for not having a barcode like everyone else in the future. Though arrested, he simply talks his way out of jail and runs off to try and find a time machine to take him back.

Although Joe is the smartest man alive in the 2505 he certainly isn’t very smart by 2007 standards. It is with this dark idea that Judge weaves his vicious comedy. If this idiot can solve the world’s problems, why can’t the rest of us?

The idiots of the future think Joe’s intelligent points are actually the pompous ravings of a “fag”. During Joe’s speech to the nation at the end he says, “… And there was a time, a long time ago, when reading wasn’t ‘just for fags’.” When was that, exactly? I’m afraid the idiocy Mike Judge is skewering is our own.

Idiocracy is very good, but Fox decided to release the movie the same way most of us release a monster piece of shit; quietly and discretely. (I hope that’s how you take a dump anyway. It could be loud and with a huge PR campaign, but I’ll be discrete and refrain from asking) The movie was quickly flushed away and won more praise from reviewers than it did from Fox’s publicists. Surely, the world is upside-down and the idiots are in charge. There can be no doubt at the end of the movie that the decision to bury the movie was a political act. The movie’s depiction of corporate and political life hits too close to home. And the best part is: it’s funny! You might even learn something.

Star Wars Last Supper

Click on it for a larger view. Yes, that’s Luke as Jesus. Mmm…. sooo blasphemous. I love it!

The artist is clearly a talented guy.

I’m glad that he used Leia in Mary Magdalen’s spot — I’m convinced that The Da Vinci Code is right and that it’s a chick! No way is that a male apostle.

Grudge Match: Kevin Smith versus Joel Siegel

Film critic and all around smarmy punster Joel Siegel has managed to piss off Silent Bob, er… Kevin Smith, filmmaker and fart joke master. From Smith’s website:

So last night, at a press screening of “Clerks II” in New York City, “Good Morning America” movie critic Joel Siegel decided he’d had enough of my shenanigans, and walked out of the flick at the forty minute mark. You’d imagine this would bother me, and yet, I’m as delighted by this news as I was with the eight minute standing ovation “Clerks II” received in Cannes.

I mean, it’s Joel Siegel, for Christ’s sake. As Paul Thomas Anderson once said of the man, getting a bad review from Siegel is like a badge of honor. This is the guy who stole his mustachioed critic shtick from Gene Shalit years ago, and still refuses to give it back. This is a guy who seemingly prides himself on being “punny” – that is, he likes to add his own nyuk-nyuk wordplay into the reviews he writes/gives.

For “Pirates 2″, he made us all titter with “Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Fun”.

Oh man, I’m rollin’. That was so funny. How long did it take Siegel to think up that one? Days? Weeks? Months? Fucking tool. Sorry, I’m not very objective in this fight. Siegel is a kiss-ass dumbshit and I really like Smith’s films, so I am very biased. But check this part out:

Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.

Check this shit out: roughly forty minutes into the flick, when Randal orders up the third act donkey show, Siegel bellowed to his fellow critics “Time to go!’’ and “This is the first movie I’ve walked out of in 30 fucking years!’’

Read Kevin’s site for more evisceration.

…Wait, “third act donkey show?” Well, maybe I should withhold judgment. Oh hell, donkeys aren’t as funny as monkeys, but they’re close. Pretty damn close.

Anyway, Clerks II sounds pretty good. I’ll check it out one of these days. Maybe not on the big screen, but I’ll see it.

Man, for $8.50 that better be the best damn donkey show ever. I somehow managed to pay only $4.50 for Pirates II and I still felt like I got ripped off since there was only $1.25 worth of plot. I suppose Keira Knightly makes up for the rest…

I look forward to the next round of this fight in which Joel Siegel threatens to “pun-ish” Kevin Smith physically.

Open Source movie — Elephants Dream

No, it’s not a movie about open source software; it’s a movie made (almost) completely with open source tools and on an open operating system (Ubuntu Linux). I just downloaded the movie and watched it and it’s stunning! The 3D graphics are amazing. These guys have really put some time and effort into creating a realistic world. Check it out for yourself. It’s called Elephants Dream.

Using free 3D graphics software called Blender, this crew of open source believers has created a work of art that I didn’t know was possible for “nobodies” to make. It looks like a big-studio, Hollywood production. The backgrounds, the character animation, the sound design — it’s all top notch. A wonderful achievement.

It’s about 10 minutes long, and I have no idea what the hell is going on plotwise (there are no elephants for one thing), but it looks and sounds gorgeous all the way through. Well worth the download!