Archive for July 26, 2008

The UK cinema experience

July 26, 2008 1 comment

Much is said about how much money Film Studios are losing to piracy. You can’t see a film at the cinema now without the piracy warnings. Do the studios ever stop to wonder if that’s the real reason their profits are not where they thinks they should be?

A recent article on Torrentfreak got me thinking about what’s really going on at the cinema. The story concerns a study by the US Pirate Party, a group that claims the real reason for the rise and fall in annual profits is the quality of the films released, not piracy. If so, the ‘piracy’ claims are just hot air from greedy studios that want more money for releasing crap. It’s the old argument, people will pay a fair price for a quality product. The most amazing thing is that these piracy claims and measures are increasing at a time when US cinema takings have hit a record high.

I think there’s a more basic reason for the often claimed drop in cinema attendance. It’s crap. Read more…

How well does iPhone location awareness work?

July 26, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve had a couple of experiences this week with iPhone’s that have made me ask this question. I frequently work with a consultant who has owned a first gen iPhone for nine months. He’s never been able to get sending an email through an AOL account to work reliably, so I had a look at the settings for him. We eventually worked out that the only time he could send emails was when the iPhone was close enough to connected through an open wireless access point. Receiving emails works fine, but not sending. The O2 stores he has visited were clueless about this problem, so I’m investigating for the next time I work with him.

While playing with the email settings I asked if he would mind me trying out the location awareness in Maps. Since the phone can use local cellphone towers to work out its location I expected this to have no problem. After a few minutes searching the iPhone still hadn’t worked out where it was so I gave up. My mobile is on O2 and I had maximum signal strength, so did the iPhone. Read more…

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The Dark Knight

July 26, 2008 Leave a comment

I saw the new Batman film ‘The Dark Knight’ yesterday and I’m not sure where to start.The best place is probably that it’s the best comic book film I have seen so far. Spiderman 2 and Xmen 3 were my previous favourites but this left them far behind. The biggest surprise was how much The Dark Knight doesn’t feel like a comic book. As with Batman Begins the various gadgets used are based on advanced military technology so most of them are believable. The characters are portrayed in shades of grey which is a big theme of the film. How far are the good guys willing to go to stop the Joker? Will they compromise their ideals to do so?

In terms of the overall tone there’s much owed to some of the darker Batman graphic novels. The Joker is menacing, brutally ruthless and constantly forcing everyone into impossible moral dilemma’s. Much has been said of Heath Ledger deserving an Oscar for his portrayal of the face painted lunatic, and I agree fully. While his is the standout performance, Aaron Eckhart is excellent as Harvey Dent and the impressively disfigured Two Face. Christian Bale is again perfect as Bruce Wayne and Batman, and gets to shine with a character that could easily become one dimensional and unbelievable in the wrong hands.

Christopher Nolan has created a film that may be remembered as the first truly adult comic book adaptation. It’s currently number one in the IMDB top 250, and deserves to be seen by not just anyone who loves comic book movies but anyone who loves good film.