FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2009 ■ THE REVIEW
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City Editor JOE WALLACE firstname.lastname@example.org 905-358-5711 ext. 1137
I’M JUST SAYIN’
Does it pay to be a pirate?
his is one war most people don’t think they will ever hear about again in their lives. Most people don’t even know this war actually existed; and that’s why, when my friend brought up the irony of overpriced chocolate, I thought I would look it up. Our conversation started when he brought up the fact his orange Reese’s chocolate T-shirt completely clashed with his purple shorts. (The shorts are not the point, but they really, really, did clash.) Anyway, we got into this conversation about how chocolate used to only cost five cents, and how now we have to pay more than a dollar for the same thing. We got further into the conversation and noticed the most ironic thing I have thought about in a while. It’s the realization that as production prices for chocolate have obviously decreased (chocolate is cheap and easy to make, especially in large quantities), it continues to be overcharged, similar to the way the gas companies overcharge for a litre of the gold stuff. Are the confectionary companies crazy? About 40 years ago, a good chocolate bar only cost five cents – and that was if you bought that size. It could be as cheap as even two cents. When the price rose, even a little, imagine the noise kids – and parents! – made over the change of their beloved five-cent candy bars. Teens across Canada all got together to stop the madness of the eight-cent chocolate bar. Eight cents. Nowhere close to a dollar. We have watched the price increase today, and no one seems to notice it creeping up. To put things back into perspective for everyone, gas prices have actually lowered at the moment, per litre, to less then what a good chocolate bar costs. Now, I understand the term “highway robbery.” Confectionary companies continue to raid our pockets. Maybe I got too worked up over this issue, but I have my friend to thank and so do you. If it wasn’t for strange purple and orange clothes clashing all over the place, you may have never even known the chocolate companies are not on our side. I’m just saying’ … Amanda Spear is a co-op student from Westlane Secondary School.
MIKE DIBATTISTA The Review
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he topic of media piracy is one of hot debate world-
wide. The technological age we live in makes transferring information from person to person easier than ever. Through outlets such as the Internet, people can share photographs, videos, messages and of course, music. The problem that arises from these transfers comes in the form of copyright and royalty laws. A copyright provides exclusive rights and recognition to an author of an original work and allows them the freedom to promote, sell and distribute that work however they see fit. Under copyright laws, many media transfers that occur between people can be considered illegal. For example, copying a film or downloading an album from the Internet without paying the ample fees or royalties to the author violates these laws, since the action impermissibly revokes the author’s exclusive right to the property. In the eyes of the filmmaker or artist, their work has been “stolen.” According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, of all music obtained through digital means, only five per cent is acquired through legal methods such as the iTunes store. This means 95 per cent of downloaded music is done so freely – and illegally. These statistics establish music as the most pirated form of media in the world. In Canada, music piracy is illegal, as it is in many other places in the world. However, the “sharing” of music over the Web
through “Peer 2 Peer” programs such as Limewire is completely legal. This loophole makes the spread of pirated music extremely hard to track. Hey, but according to kindergarten educators abroad, isn’t sharing a good thing? On the flipside of the topic, many people – musicians included – view media sharing as an outlet for aspiring artists to be recognized. Instead of having to pay for expensive marketing campaigns, musicians can release their work through the Internet for the world to listen to and provide feedback on. In this context, music sharing can be seen less as piracy, but more as a way of spreading art abroad and helping musicians find their “big break.” What it really comes down to is a question between whether media sharing is truly “piracy” and a crime that deserves the same punishment as theft, or an outlet for artists to spread their work around the globe and acquire more recognition. Steven Filer, a student at Saint Michael Catholic High School believes that music sharing is “another form of theft that should be punished.” On the other hand, Maria Artiga, a Grade 10 student from Ridley College says downloading music is not a crime but “is a good way to help new musicians get on the market and get known by people.” In my opinion, media sharing, or piracy, has it advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, artists do receive recognition for the music that is shared, which can lead to a larger fan
Metro Creative Services
base. This fan base eventual becomes the population of people who attend concerts and purchase merchandise in support of a band. However, on the flipside, I feel downloading music free-ofcharge does not give full credit to the artist who worked hard on that particular piece of art.
My conclusion? I think music sharing should be used as a way to preview media before purchasing it. I believe if you truly enjoy the artist after listening to their music, you should support them by purchasing their album or seeing them in concert. Feel free to join the UPLOAD
facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/grou p.php?gid=32787704639 and discuss music piracy on the discussion board! Aaron Bailey is a student writer for Upload. He attends Saint Michael Catholic Secondary School.
REVIEWS: Take a step back into the 1930s
Public Enemies full of bad-guy thriller action Five winks (out of five)
verybody loves to cheer for the bad guy. Michael Mann doesn’t bother with the classic debate between nature and nurture when he retells the story of legendary American bank robber, John Dillinger. Mann doesn’t care what his childhood was like, or what toll the Depression took on Dillinger. He only cares that the man was a bank robber, a murderer, a wanted man and a Robin Hood of sorts to a generation of disenfranchised Americans. The film starts out fast (though it’s hard to notice at first because of the slow pace,) with Dillinger (Johnny Depp) being taken to prison and breaking out of prison, with a few members of his gang, that same day. How he does this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dillinger’s scheming, as he escapes from prison once more and dodges the law many times throughout the film. When Dillinger returns to Chicago, a hot spot of Depression era crime, he meets Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) and seemingly instantly falls in love with her. After confessing everything about himself – he robs banks, enjoys baseball, whiskey and her – he promises her a life of adventure; exactly what she has been looking for. While Dillinger balances his relationship with Frechette with making money the only way he knows how, J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) and newly appointed Gman, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), plot his downfall by declaring America’s first war on crime and naming Dillinger public enemy No. 1. This film is beautifully constructed. In classic Mann fashion, Public Enemies flows from being in focus to out of focus, as the camera shifts from mounted to hand held. Though some align out of focus with being bad, it works with the raw emotion this movie portrays. The action is fast, but like life, the movie takes its time getting there. The two leads only meet face-to-face a few times and when they do, their interactions are short and sweet. Depp carries the movie, interchanging pure intensity with the wit and charm audiences come to expect from him. Mann’s portrait of
Dillinger is almost Shakespearian. We want to cheer for Depp’s character despite knowing he is bad and one of the reasons we like him is because of his characteristics, even though it is clear his pride will be the end of him. It seems at times he is going to win, but we know he can’t. Depp has us hoping against hope for the bad guy. With all the emotion and intensity in Public Enemies I feared Bale would try to do too much and end up delivering another performance like he did earlier in the summer with Terminator: Salvation, that is to say, not a very good one. However; Bale let his facial expressions and body language do most of the talking, as he portrayed Purvis as a conserved, emotional man who is out to make the world a better place. Crudup was good as Hoover, portraying him as a man who not only wanted Dillinger brought down, but wanted his FBI to look good while doing it. One of the more intense scenes is a phone conversation between Bale and Crudup where Bale asks to bring a few men from Texas to help, because Hoover’s style will only lead in dead FBI agents. One down side is that Public Enemies runs just under two and a half hours and at times feels like it, but it isn’t hard to be absorbed right back into the story. Also, Mann could be found guilty of glorifying violence and crime had Dillinger not already been an American legend. This isn’t the classic summer movie, as it has no pulse pounding explosions and calls for the audience to wait for plot to develop. But audiences have always cheered for the bad guy and Mann delivers the perfect bad guy to cheer for.
Four-and-a-half winks (out of five)
ike Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, comes a film so powerful and perfectly orchestrated, that it not only leaves you with a feeling of captivation and awe, but has you standing up, yearning for an encore. Public Enemies, a dramatic thriller, is the true story about a man under the belief he was invincible, unstoppable, and the best of the best. At times he even has the audience fooled into agreement. Taking a step back to the 1930’s, we get to take a glance at a Depression-stricken America, where crime has taken over the streets. After a quick escape from prison, the infamous John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and his crew head to Chicago, where the mob offers him sanctuary. Almost immediately, Dillinger and his team plan and execute their next bank heist. On their way out of the bank, a man offers him money out of his own pocket, but Dillinger, in an almost Robin Hood fashion, tells him, “No, we’re here for the bank’s money, not yours.” While all of this is going on, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover (Billy
Crudup) is on the rampage, declaring a war on crime, labelling Dillinger as Public Enemy No. 1, and promoting agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) as head of the Bureau in Chicago. Purvis’ main objective: tracking down and bringing to justice Dillinger. Once Purvis’ initial efforts end in bloody results, he brings in some Texas rangers to change the odds. Later on, Dillinger and his team are out dining, drinking and dancing, and he happens to see what he views as the love of his life, Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), a coat check girl. He immediately wants her to be his girl, telling her he will “never leave her”, and when she tells him she knows nothing about him, he gives her a 10 second lesson, including him saying “I rob banks.” Needless to say, a relationship is born. No sooner does all of this happen, when Dillinger gets caught once again, and thrown back into a tight security prison back in Indiana. Dillinger manages to escape using only a piece of soap, only to go back to Chicago to find out the mob has turned their back on him. This is just the first thread that begins to unravel in Dillinger’s life, eventually leading all the way up to his inevitable demise. Public Enemies, directed by
PUBLIC ENEMIES Director: Michael Mann Stars: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard Time: Two hours, 20 minutes Sun Media
Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger, public enemy No. 1, in Public Enemies, in theatres now.
Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral) is a beautiful film. Mann recreates a Chicago of dark proportions, where crime reigned supreme, and one man tried to stand above them all. His recreations of actual newscasts and gunfights are exceptional, one such scene at a lodge in Wisconsin being a standout. Think Fourth of July fireworks. Pure magic. The only drawback, what some may call his flaw, is his use of the handheld camera for certain scenes. Most of the time they give the film a raw, edgy look, but in other instances, we just get seasick.. Depp (Finding Neverland, Sweeney Todd), as Dillinger, is brilliant. Depp is one of the most versatile actors out there, and here he succeeds in every form. He shows us a criminal that society knew was not a good man, and yet Depp makes him someone we want to cheer for. He cracks jokes, and brims with a confidence that can not be shaken or undone. There is a breathtaking scene where Dillinger walks into the Chicago Bureau: Dillinger Squad’s office, and calmly and confidently walks around, looking at pictures of himself, even asking officers for the score of a baseball game. Depp plays Dillinger as a man who actually believes he can not be touched. Bale (Terminator: Salvation, The Dark Knight), as Purvis, is exceptional, and he hardly needs to do anything to reach that status. He shows us a man who purely loves to catch bad guys, and uses his soft tone and facial expressions to get the job done. Crudup Watchmen, Big Fish), as Hoover, is also excellent, as a man more worried about an officer’s fashion than actually catching the criminals. One other standout worth mentioning is that of Stephen Graham (Snatch, Gangs of New York), as the hottempered, Tommy gun wielding Baby Face Nelson. Public Enemies, although being a fantastic film, is not a masterpiece. But once it hits the senses, it’s a feast for the eyes, and music to the ears.