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Avast ye blogarrrrrs: Movie piracy and you

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Mark Kermode | 12:00 UK time, Friday, 1 May 2009

Last week's observation that the responsibility for solving movie piracy lies with a movie industry that is mired in the last century and not with the audience that is living in the present one seems to have struck a pulsing nerve with you. Your own highly intelligent and creative thoughts on the matter include improving picture house protocol, the ineptitude of 3D as a theatre audience building strategy and the deliciously calumnous suggestion that leaking X Men Origins: Wolverine online was all part of a fiendish Hollywood conspiracy, and thus in the spirit of online democracy, ladies and gentlemen I humbly relinquish Kermode Uncut to you...

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Applause! Yes - there's no point stamping out the symptoms without addressing the cause. That's what the industry is trying to do - look at the Pirate Bay case.

  • Comment number 2.

    Having worked in a cinema two years ago I do have a little insight in to how they are run.

    What I know from what I've been told or experienced:

    Food is generally not allowed in because cinemas make most of their money from the food they sell, and make little off of the ticket sales (they claim).

    However having cleaned screens many times, we don't always catch everyone, if food is taken in with you in a bag where no one can see it, we couldn't take it off you. It's only if it's really obviously in a shopping bag or something. I've previously found beer bottles in screens.

    I've had people complain profusely about the prices of the food, then gone to clean a screen where little of it was actually eaten.

    There is an obscene amount of food wasted daily in cinemas, and the staff aren't allowed the leftovers at the end of the day (from the concession stalls, not from the screens, that would be gross) , it all has to go in the bin.

    The cinema I worked at does work on the seat assigning thing, but only really enforced it at big film launches or when someone comes out and complains.

    The Cineworld in Cardiff (not where I worked) stopped using allocated seats not that long after opening, I presume so they can have less staff, because they don't need people overseeing seating).

    I used to go to a neat little cinema called the Monico just outside of Cardiff. I remember paying £2.50 for a ticket to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (this was when cineworld was UGC and charging £3 minimum for their children/early bird tickets) and it had an interval! It was admittedly smaller screens, but the difference in service was phenominal.

    Currently living in Oxford, I rarely go to the cinema, not having a car means I can't easily get to the far away Kassam Vue cinema and I don't want to pay the same amount of money to the Odeons in town whose screens resemble those you might find aboard a ferry, and whose seats are in need of maintenance.

  • Comment number 3.

    Just to pick up on a point made about cinemas showing loads of trailers (and even worse, adverts). I took my 4 yr old son to see Wall-E as his first trip to the cinema. We arrived with a few minutes to spare before the start time in order for him to soak up the atmosphere...

    40 minutes later the movie began, now I don't know how many of you know what the attention span of a 4 yr old is but it is nowhere near 40 mins + the running time of an average family movie. And its not as if the adverts and trailers where even relevant to a family audience. I appreciate that the cinemas need to make a little extra cash from ad revenues but please... If you take the piss with your entrance fees AND you take the piss with the cost of food AND you take the piss with the amount of irrelevant advertising beforehand, then people will vote with their feet and there is nothing you can do about it.

    WE ARE PAYING YOU TO PROVIDE A SERVICE! We are not paying you to sell us something we have no use or desire for. Nor are we paying you out of the goodness of our heart.

    I have just paid £14 for 2 tickets to Wolverine tonight! Heres hoping for a better experience (not holding out too much hope!)

  • Comment number 4.

    It's brilliant to finally hear a critic stand up and call for a level headed discussion on the matter.

    The copyright/piracy discussion that was held on the Mayo show the day of the Pirate Bay verdict was truly awful, a real industry love fest. 3D was hailed as the Brave New Future for all cinema, and the chap from Lovefilm took every opportunity to point out how amazing and universally loved his rental company was.

    Everyone danced around the topic of why people download films, and there wasn't a mention of why people dislike cinemas more and more. Which is exactly what's been answered in a lot of these comments.

    The fact that nobody in the discussion could admit to ever having downloaded a film made it all sound rather hollow and one-sided. No one would willingly stand up on national radio and admit to breaking the law, but then the issue is a lot more complicated than that.

  • Comment number 5.

    Speaking of all the adverts and trailers in cinemas. I had an interview not long ago for an assistant manager job at a local cinema where the manager was telling me how the increasing length of movies such as Harry Potter and LOTR causes them great trouble because they could have far less showings on a screen in a day. I pointed out that they could get even more screenings in if they reduced the number of trailers and adverts for cola. He looked furious and unsurprisingly I did not get the job.

    I downloaded a film once, Grindhouse. It was rubbish but I did it because I don't see why I should be attempted to be punished for Americans good taste in avoiding the film by being offered the "opportunity" to pay twice to see the movie some 6 months after thy did in the states.

  • Comment number 6.

    Sorry about the name Mark, I lost my proper one in a password related injury and couldn't think of anything else at the time. I forgot we're not all Scandinavian saga scholars. It's just Rolf with a H.

    Cinemas need to remember they're competing with a sofa at home, so give me what I get there first a clean, controlled, comfortable environment then, and only then, add the extras... and that starts with a big screen.
    When the local flea-pits were driven out of business by the big corporate chains it seems like the fleas and vermin were kept on in most places.

  • Comment number 7.

    You mentioned critics getting DVD "screeners" and that's where some of the piracy was coming from.

    If my experience is anything to go by the movie companies are handing these out like confetti. On the strength of me giving a positive review to "Kissing Jessica Stein" in my blog (probable readership four, plus my mum) I was offered a DVD of "Imagine Me & You" before it was released in the cinema in the hope that I would comment on it in my blog too.

    See http://the-hug.org/opus243.html for their email to me.

    Viral marketing innit? But at no point did they check that I was legit or warn me not to let the DVD out of my hands.

  • Comment number 8.

    Good points however, no one has mentioned the disappearance of 'the suit'. I'm not keen on this skinny, retro, faded number. How can you take anyone seriously in an outfit like that?

    I've heard critics get screened films in 'adult' cinemas in Soho, is that true?

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't see how 3D is supposed to be the great white hope of the cinema business when it can be done so much better at home. Have you seen any of the videos on YouTube demonstrating head tracking with Wii remotes? Absolutely mind blowing.

  • Comment number 10.

    Have to agree about the comments about movies actually getting into cinemas. I had to travel nearly 70 miles, simply so I could go see Let The Right One In on the big screen (best movie of 2009 by the way). It was the same with Outlander (which I liked). If film companies want to try and prevent piracy, then making enough prints so that all cinemas can get a print of a movie if required would certainly help.

  • Comment number 11.

    OMG someone else who use to go the Monico in Rhiwbina,Cardiff.
    I even remember watching the first Lord Of The Rings there,as it had an intermission half way in the film(which big chains will never do). The last film I watched there was The Fast and The Furious.
    (Sorry I loved the Monico that much.)

    I hate driving past it now mind.
    A stunning 1930's style independant cinema replaced by 1984 style flats.

    What a wonderfull world we live in.

  • Comment number 12.

    Dear Lord Kermode,
    In my case i simply am too impatient when it comes to films to have to wait until i have enough money to go out and buy them, or maybe just wait until i have enough time on my hands to go and buy them, or in some cases go to the cinema and see them (see ticket prices), and for these reasons i am always the first to see films through downloads (DVD quality ones too). And i can assure you that if a film is worth it, i buy it, if a film isn't; i don't.
    The cure to video piracy in my own (idilic) world is making better films and assassinating Seth Rogen A.S.A.P.

  • Comment number 13.

    There is also the fact that online i can gain instant access to a fully uncut version of any 70's exploitation movie or video nasty that i please. Which can, at times, be a task over clicking a few buttons.
    It's okay to be lazy!, DVDs exist for a reason!

  • Comment number 14.

    Piracy is wrong, but as you have said Dr K if people didn't talk in cinemas more people would go, if the prices were cheaper more people would go. Blame can be put into many places but at the end of the day it is the people that download the films that are in the wrong.
    I do download films, but I will only download films that have been out a while and if I do enjoy them I will buy it on DVD.
    I'm an avid cinema goer, but my local cinema doesn't supply me with a wide range of films. It's Hollywood blockbusters that will draw in a crowd. I wish more cinemas showed, like you said, older films, more foreign films.

    As for the lack of ushers, I used to work in a cinema for a brief time and we searched bags for cameras to try and prevent piracy. This caused a lot of fuss as people wouldn't want us to look in their bags. (Not because they were actually carrying a camera, but because they felt it violated their privacy.)
    We also did regular checks in each screen every half an hour or so. This still didn't stop the pirates though.

    Perhaps an online cinema would work, you pay £3 and you can watch it once on your computer or TV.

  • Comment number 15.

    Speaking of the film industry lecturing consumers about piracy... you know what really irks me? When I pay money for a legitimate copy of a film on DVD, and when I put the disc in the player that irritating anti-piracy advert comes up. You know the one: "you wouldn't steal a handbag" etc. Sometimes you can't skip this. What's infuriating is that clearly the ONLY people who will see this are the people who have definitely not done what the advert is ordering them not to do, thus rendering it entirely redundant and simply a nuisance to people who don't deserve to be lectured in such a way. Meanwhile, people who download illegally get to just open a file and watch the film straight off without having to skip through a hundred trailers and anti-piracy ads. Oh, and there's also the leaflets that come in DVDs, 'thanking' you for buying a legitimate copy, in the most patronising way possible.

  • Comment number 16.

    Currently living in Oxford, I rarely go to the cinema, not having a car means I can't easily get to the far away Kassam Vue cinema and I don't want to pay the same amount of money to the Odeons in town whose screens resemble those you might find aboard a ferry, and whose seats are in need of maintenance.

    --
    Can I recommend the Phoenix in Oxford? An excellent little art house cinema (Just up my road, yes, feel jealous :) ) in Jericho.

    It shows pretty much all the best films that come out and very few of the poor ones. It's only 5.50 for members (which is 25 quid a year and includes 3 cinema tickets).

    Although small, the clientèle tend to be polite and you can bring in your own food (nobody seems to mind, I once brought in two large shopping bags :) ) and has a lovely bar above it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Movie piracy is a two-way stream. There's a viral video that tells more than the film companies want to know:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/user/dingbat25/video/x8tkml_steal-this-disc_fun

  • Comment number 18.

    wise words as ever Dr K. Regarding 3D I have set up a group on Facebook entitled 'Stop Charging Extra For 3D'...

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=97810113097

    ...please join and spread the word.

  • Comment number 19.

    I have some thoughts. I think one thing you haven't considered is that there is some severe lobbying for governments to introduce anti-piracy measures. We now have some monitoring of internet use in this country, perhaps part of a drip-drip approach to gradually being able to monitor and prosecute file-sharing. There is some strong legislation struggling through the French parliament. I don't think the industry has completely given up (and may indeed have had some private assurances knowing our government at least) that they can radically reduce illegal traffic. That's worth staying in the game for, although it is always possible that file-sharers may find ways of avoiding detection.

    I also don't think that the movie industry look at the music business and take any heart from that. Their numbers are terrible, truly terrible despite legal online sales, although more people are making money out of music than ever before. To use a Bushism, is the pie getting higher? A bit, but a lot of people and businesses are taking a financial hit and unable to live in the manner to which they've become accustomed. Nobody likes that. At least the movie industry has the cinema, which the music business doesn't, but still...

    It would be nice to download video files for a small fee, 50p £1, at divx quality. I'd do that, but would ISPs appreciate it? BBC's iPlayer is already causing strain, mass movie downloads might well push our creaking infrastructure to the limit. I think there are so many knock-on effects on so many inter-connected and dependent businesses, all of whom have contracts with each other, that to introduce a new method of distribution is actually a huge task. What about Blockbuster? What about the people who make the discs or the last remaining high street sellers already suffering from drops in cd sales. You're asking an awful lot of people to say, "okay, that's it people, we had a good run, but we mustn't stand in the way of progress. Pack your things, it's over".

    I think you're right, it has to happen, but it's not as easy as you seem to make out. A lot of people used to say George Bush's foreign policy was 'stupid', but if you looked at who formulated the policies, and how they benefited from them financially, it was pretty rational and quite effective although morally reprehensible. I don't think the people in the movie or music business are 'stupid' (I'm not saying that you do, by the way, but a lot of people are saying that). They're dealing with a host of complicated issues, which we can only imagine, with who knows what going on behind the scenes. And would you enjoy taking a hit to your standard of living just because some people broke the law and there was no easy way of enforcing it?

    And I still disagree with you about paying more for 3D. You pay more for a better class of plane ticket because you get more for your money. Just because you love cinema doesn't mean they owe you... :)

  • Comment number 20.

    First of all, wow, I feel honoured to have my comment read out, so thank you.

    The problem with the availablity of films is entirely out of the cinemas' hands. Many cinemas would probably love to show the more independent fare, but are usually limited by the number of screens and "public demand". To cite my Cineworld again, they only have 7 screens which means they have to negotiate what they screen quite carefully (and on occasion had up to 12 films showing in one week). They do tend to try and get more diverse material than one might expect (Somers Town and Eden Lake both shared a screen last summer, the former several weeks after release).

    It doesn't help that some distributors have huge gaps in schedules. I would like specifically call out Momentum Pictures, whose handling of films is dreadful and at least 6 months after the U.S. versions. With the exception of that high quality product of Disaster Movie, where we only had to wait a week. The Mist got a minimal release nearly a year after U.S. release, Traitor was released Stateside in August and we got it in March. The worst case is Hamlet 2 (released last summer in the States), which I've been looking forward to. It's a good thing too, because most normal people would have given up by now: the release date has moved 4 times (at least) and, a year on, I'm actually wondering if they'll just pop it straight onto DVD. I might as well import it if I didn't have a backlog of DVDs to watch.

    Also, who is the monkey deciding to release many of the Pixar movies in October? Pixar frequently cite us as being one of their best audiences, but we're often one of the last to get them. I know they're scheduled for the October school holidays, but would they really make less money if they were out in summer, like many other parts of the world? WALL-E being released in summer last year was a huge step-up, but Disney have suddenly reverted for Up. Why?

  • Comment number 21.

    I too, am annoyed about Up being released in Oct - flippin' ridiculous. Same thing with Bolt as we got that one too late as well. If these films loose money when they finally remember to release them here, the distributor's got themselves to blame!

    And instead of persecuting those who download films, they should be after those who leak it in the first place! And personally, if the film's crap, it deserves to be shamed and hopefully the studio will learn to produce BETTER quality films(*cough 20th Century Fox*cough).

  • Comment number 22.

    Allow me to make a comment on the format of this post: This works really well, with Mark reading out selected messages - it becomes almost like a dialog between us and him. Please do this again :)

  • Comment number 23.

    I confess to downloading two movies illegally from a fairly well-known website: 'The Mist' and 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly'. Now, while I can hear the movie industry having a heart attack with fake indignation at this, they should know that as a result of watching those two films, I then went on to BUY THEM on DVD. That was the only time I have downloaded films illegally. However, I don't do it any more because a)I know it's wrong, b)the quality sucks and c)watching movies on my pc isn't very comfortable. I know the ends do not justify the means, but I agree with one of the other points made: that actually the industry relies, to some degree, on a bit of piracy to spread word of mouth. So I really don't know what they're blathering on about; they certainly are not losing money.

  • Comment number 24.

    Yay! Thanks for reading out my comment Mark! I too really like these kinds of reciprocal discussions you do, so please keep it up.

    Judging by what people have written on here, the massive gap between film releases here and Stateside seems to be quite an issue, but personally I really don't mind waiting to see it in the cinema. The only time I'd feel any different is if I was really worried about having an ending spoiled, but that hasn't happened with a film yet.

    I should point out though that I'm a film student studying in Wales and through the wonders of the film industry encouragement here I actually get to see films for free on Mondays for only £25 a year. (BAFTA Cymru student membership, look it up folks!) Therefore, I have absolutely no desire to see something pirate when I know I can see it on the big screen with a bit of patience.

  • Comment number 25.

    Also, Joss Whedon's Dr Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, although not a film, is now firmly in profit despite being released and still available legally for free. It shows that when people like something, they'll get behind it with their wallets.

  • Comment number 26.

    Even The Guardian has succumbed - in a recent article on Roger Friedman getting fired over reviewing the leaked version of Wolverine, Ben Child said: "In the past, films that were leaked online before hitting cinemas, such as Hostel II, have performed weakly." Um... it was hardly the most acclaimed film of all time was it? Who says there is a direct correlation?

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks for the fascinating blog.

    Piracy is sadly inevitable. I've never bought a pirated DVD, although, obviously I've met people who have. But when a DVD or CD isn't available legally here and if you're not up on multi-region DVD players, there must be a temptation to pick up a region-free pirate of, say, a Region 1-only film.

    Moreover, unsupervised cinemas have become a near warzone in some places.

    I tried to watch Die Hard 4.0 at a local cinema when it was released. A gang of chavs and chavettes, talked, yelled, threw stuff and generally intimidated the audience throughout. Finally a 70-year-old gentleman stood up to them and ended up getting punched in the face along with his wife. The chavs claimed he started it and called the police on him!!! In the end the police arrived, realised what was happening and dispersed the kids, while walking the couple to their car to ensure there were no reprisals. Did I mention I was trying to watch a movie? I lost track of what was happening and haven't seen it since.

    The manager gave the remaining audience free passes to another screening, telling us that things have got so bad there now that scarcely a week goes by there without a major incident. He'd been punched the previous week!

    Now I ask you, when I can buy a 40-plus-inch high-definition TV for comparatively little money (less as each year goes by) a surround sound system and a Blu-ray player that gives me possibly better quality picture than that in the cinema, why would I want to risk interruptions and violence?

    Mostly, I will wait to see a movie on DVD right now. It's a shame, but unless they start putting bouncers in cinemas, I generally won't go near a film with less than an 18 rating.

    When the industry promotes home cinema and DVD/Blu-ray releases and cinemas have become unsupervised battlegrounds they will have to expect piracy as people would rather sit in the comfort of their own home with a couple of beers, possibly smoking a cigarette, and watch the film.

    As for me, I support simultaneous Blu-ray release of movies. I'll watch at home!

  • Comment number 28.

    Dear Doctor

    You are our leader, please help us, I live in California, near Oakland and San Francisco.

    My cinema going over the past two years has dropped from 75 a year to about 5.

    Texting. shouting, screaming, fighting, guns and other anti social behavior make my local multiplex a nightmare.

    I now watch everything on Netflix (US online rental service) and will finally get to see Of Time and the City in 2 weeks.

    Oh joy for me

    Rob


  • Comment number 29.

    A few points to make. The first is that I'd agree that the problem is created by the very fact that the industry is active and produces content.
    A good, semi-related example is the current action toward removing 'standby' functions on tv's. If its not there, then people can't use it, and the problem is eliminated. To imagine that you can create or do something that you would like a mass audience to see or use without some kind of backlash, accident or problems to arise is unrealistic. So Fox, Sony, WB et al shouldn't be suprised.

    The solution obviously isn't 'stop making movies'. Instead, they need to grab the problem by the horns and change the products they are marketing, or the way it is marketed. I work in the games industry, which is affected (to a lesser degree because of the format) by similar problems, yet they are tackled with fervour. In many ways gaming is still vastly superceded by film, but a few lessons can be learnt. The games industry has actively seen the possibility of episodic content as a breath of life for some stale franchises, and digital distribution is making things much more plausable for small start-up companies.

    Why is it the big distributers in film haven't got their entire libraries available on their websites to stream legit? Its not a solution, but its a step forward..

  • Comment number 30.

    One further note- Zombie Flesh Eaters is on at the DCA in Dundee tonight. I have it downloaded, but I've already parted with my cash and booked a ticket!

  • Comment number 31.

    I think a Netflix style system is the next step the UK really needs.

    If I could have a box HDMI'd in to my 40" telly that downloaded any movie I wanted in HD to watch once then self destruct, I would happily pay a monthly subscription for that and never go near a torrent site again.

    Its only a DVD free way of the service blockbuster and lovefilm are offering already. What's the problem?

  • Comment number 32.

    As a budding entrepreneur trying to get a new cinema open (see: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2050087_new_arthouse_cinema_planned_for_guildford )I would like to add my 2 cents worth to the debate. I wholeheartedly agree that if cinemas were good value for money and were places that customers could really enjoy watching films then the market for pirate DVDs and illegal downloads would be slashed. I hope that if I manage to get my cinema open then I will be delivering the perfect package for enjoying cinema again.

  • Comment number 33.

    On a slight tangent I wonder if there is any interest in starting a petition against extra charges for seeing 3D films at the cinema? Perhaps with the Doctor's help we can get a change?

  • Comment number 34.

    I think it's all been said, pretty much. I should've got here earlier!

    [To restate my position - I'm a movie-lover who almost never goes to the cinema, instead choosing to watch films on DVD and Blu-ray at home. I do not pirate films, even though I know perfectly well how to do it, and I sympathise with those who do under certain very limited circumstances].


    I'd say in reply to the comment above (I forget whose...) about 3D being justifiably more expensive, because the cinemas don't "owe" us - the same applies in reverse. Movie patrons don't "owe" cinemas and DVD-rental chains any of their money - and if the service they offer is unappleaing and can be bettered elsewhere, they're contributing to their own downfall.

    I expect apologists will say, "what the hell are you talking about, DH? They've introduced 3D! That can't be 'bettered elsewhere'. Duh...!". To which I say, "yes, but I don't bloody *care* about 3D". It's all 'inside the box' thinking - instead of asking themselves, "how can we increase legal uptake of our films?", they ask, "how can we get more punters into cinemas, so that we can bombard them with adverts and force them to pay through the nose for food and drink?".

    The ARROGANCE that these corporations demonstrate makes me fume. Instead of moving *with* the times, they simply *observe* that the times are moving then say, "no, you can't do that. Don't you know who I *am*?!" The music industry tried that a few years ago, and look what happened to *them*...

    ... get it through your heads, movie-types; *you* exist because of *us*. NOT the other way around.

  • Comment number 35.

    Surely, Online Cinema is a new phenomena that has a place in this discussion. The new film from 'Independent Online Cinema' called 'The Search for Gollum' has met a mass a of internet praise. It is free to watch as many times as you like. Could this be the (or more probably, a) future of cinema?

  • Comment number 36.

    Sorry it is 'The Hunt for Gollum'.

  • Comment number 37.

    The problem is that cinema as a concept grew to cater for mass public entertainment, not the other way around. The public don't go to the cinema to keep film studios from going bust.

    There are several solutions. Films need to be cheaper to make, and if this means less money going towards actors and directors, less special effects and less advertising then so be it.

    The saving can be passed onto the cinemas themselves in the form of cheaper licenses. I paid £7 to see X Men Oranges last week - the price of the ticket didn't faze me, the state of the cinema and the general quality of the experience did.

    Also, online torrent licensing enabling people to pay minimal subscriptions to download DVD quality films would recoup a lot of the studios money.

  • Comment number 38.

    As an afterthought, why don't studios get into the habit of reshowing old films? It's a novelty now, but could become a staple form of income in the future. Millions are poured into a films production, only for it to be screened for (in some areas) less than a week, if at all. Whether the film is a year old or 30 years old, I would rather see the original version on a big screen than a rubbish multi-million dollar remake.

  • Comment number 39.

    It seems to me that the problem with modern piracy is not one that can be solved by any one industry alone. There are those within the music biz who feel that the arts should simply adapt and find new revenue streams and while the willingness to move with the times is commendable, it doesn't address the real issue.

    The fact is (and the sheer numbers illegally downloading are testament to this) that there is a whole generation that have grown up with an extremely warped understanding of intellectual property. Things will only get better when the industry stops trying to deal with the fallout or adapt to accommodate this opinion that one shouldn't have to pay for film or music. Education is the answer - far too many people simply don't view it as stealing.

  • Comment number 40.

    Although I appreciate what I am about to say/write has been said/written a thousand times previously, I do feel the need to get some things off my chest.

    1. One major floor in Film Studio's gripe about piracy is the continued failure for simultaneous world wide releases of major films. Let me use an example. I am a big fan of East Asian cinema, which is both a gift and a curse. Due to this taste in cinema I often import a lot of films that are not readily available in the UK, for instance Kim Ki Duk's 'Dream', Johnnie To's 'Sparrow' or the delightfully titled 'Girls Rebel Force Of Competitive Swimmers'. On occasion this has lead to me owning a film months before it gets released in the UK. Examples of this would be 'The Chaser' (about 8 months before the UK release) 'The Mist' (a good 6 months) 'Death Note' (9 months), 'Red Cliff' (12 months, as it is set for UK release in June) and 'The Warlords' (again about 6 months). OK, so most of these films are of East Asian in origin and thus would have a limited market here in the UK. However, with the exception of 'The Mist' (for obvious reasons) all the other films came with English subtitles in lush 2 or 3 disc editions which make our UK special edition DVDs seem pitiful by comparison.

    My main point here is this, if all these studios are so worried about making it too easy for films to be pirated, apart from catching up with technology (and I whole heartedly agree with the good Doctor on this point) perhaps a stop gap solution would be to release films at the same time all over the world, thus reducing the opportunity for 'Pirates' to get a hold of their material. By not doing this it makes it too easy for these films to be copied and passed on. The studios have no one to blame but themselves.

    2. What is it with the lack of love for East Asian cinema in the UK? Rarely do films get reviewed yet when they do they tend to be seen as average. OK, so the reviews themselves are opinions and can be open to interpretation (for instance, I consider 'The Chaser' as one of my films of last year), but for a lot of release to just be flat out ignored, well that's just a whole bucket of wrong, and here I was thinking Dr. K just might appreciate something like 'Tokyo Gore Police' or 'The Machine Girl'.

    3. On the back of last weeks Radio show on films that get better with each instalment, how about the 'Female Prisoner Scorpion' series. OK, so the series is still technically running today, but I am talking about the original trilogy directed by Shunya Ito and starring Meiko Kaji. 'Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion' is entertaining enough compared to other films of its ilk (see 'Hanzo The Razor' or 'The Street Fighter' films), the much improved but rehash of the first 'Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41' and the best of the three 'Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion: Beast Stable'. Am I alone in thinking this? Anyone? No?



    I need to get out more.

  • Comment number 41.

    Lhe last film i downloaded was Let The Right One In. this was because i had heard so much about how fantastic it was, and realy wanted to see it whilst being skint and it not being available to see easily in this country at the time. I have as a result of that pirate behaviour, managed to see it at the cinema and tried to persuade as many people as i can to go to see it too. I will also buy the DVD. I'm not a pirate, I'm a libertarian buccaneer. Captain Mission and his gang, had they not been unfortunately eaten by cannibals, would be proud...maybe. if there cold, dead bones could be made to reanimate and understand.

 

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