My intent was never for my livejournal to become "The Wide World of DVDs Nobody Likes," but in case anyone cares, Track Down (renamed from Hackers 2: Takedown) is finally getting a U.S. DVD release on Septmber 28th. 2600 Magazine has an article about it here. I wrote several paragraphs about the film, but in the interest of keeping your Friends page clutter free, I'll stick them under a cut:
For those who don't know, Takedown is (loosely) based on a book of the same name. The book is based on the true story of Kevin Mitnick who is probably the world's most well-known computer criminal. In a nutshell, Kevin got caught doing some fairly naughty things on a computer system he didn't have legal access to. When he was arrested, lots of people (myself included) felt that he was treated in an inordinately severe manner. This is all documented on news sites all over the internet, but probably most thoroughly (albiet with a pro-Kevin slant) on FreeKevin.com.
The movie was made in 1998 and scheduled for release in 1999 (I think). 2600 spearheaded a campaign to discredit the movie and suppress its release. To everyone's surprise, Miramax opted not to premier the film in the U.S., but it got some play in foreign markets. The hacker community roundly panned the film, criticizing not only its copious and blatant fabrications but also things like the acting, lighting and camerawork. I've seen it, and though I wasn't impressed, the quality of the filmmaking struck me as fairly average for a Hollywood film. I'm indifferent to all of the actors in it (excepting (possibly) Donal Logue), so the acting was on par with any other movie. I think most of the criticisms of the production come from the inability of a certain people to translate their political biases into a movie review (see certain reviews of Fahrenheit 9/11).
Around the time I graduated high school I was being invited to "Free Kevin" rallies and I can recall seeing that slogan printed on shirts and bumper stickers at school. I was always torn as to how I should feel about the whole situation. On the one hand, he did commit some fairly serious intrusions which were unquestionably illegal. On the other, he didn't actually do anything with the information he obtained and claims that he never planned on using it maliciously. I can recall Mikey telling me after we saw Mr. Mitnick on TechTV that the best word to describe him is "dweeby," not nasty. Having seen him interviewed several times, it's easy to believe that he wasn't planning to do anything truly dishonest. I'd equate Kevin's transgressions with speeding. The proper reaction would have been to slap him on the hand (issue a ticket) to deter him from doing it again (re-enacting the movie Death Race 2000). Instead he was placed into solitary confinement and denied some of the basic rights of the American legal sysem.
I kept up on the whole thing in the news until after Kevin was eventually freed. I can definitely say that Takedown fails miserably as an accurate portrayal of the facts. The movie depicts Kevin (who is played by Skeet Ulrich) as a devious criminal. The guy who tracked him down is also pretty dweeby in real life, but here he's a suave, debonair ladies man. Tom Berenger's in the movie too, but I think I liked him better as a sexually ambiguous singing cowboy in um, that other movie.
If you actually read all the way through this you're probably not terribly interested in the movie. If you are, you could buy it on Amazon, but I'd rather just suggest that you save your money and wait for somebody else to offer it to you because they bought it and weren' impressed.
Anyway, our CEO toured the Madison office today, and I foolishly didn't straighten up my desk. This is not true. It was clean when I came in, but it got really cluttered as the day went on. Anyway, he came in and had a look around my cubicle. He's greeting lots of people, but I'd bet money that I'm the only man who had to explain to the Corporate Divine that I have pantyhose on my wall "just in case."
I hope I don't get talked to by my boss' boss tomorrow.
Speaking of work-inappropriate clothing, our casual day dress code is changing because apparently some people don't grasp that go-go boots, tube tops and denim miniskirts sporting the word "flirt" are not kosher for
All kidding aside, I'd be annoyed at the company if it had come out of left field. It didn't though. We got a couple of warnings. People ignored them. I think it would have been a better idea to address issues with individual employees than with everybody, but everybody was addressed, and the violators are part of "everybody." I have no problem with penalizing everybody in this situation. I'd just like to know whose fault it is that my shoes must match my socks which must match my pants.
Oh, well. This has been popular on my Friends page today, and I must say, if anybody on my friends list belonged on the chess club in high school, it was axbuford: