2010-02-10

Movie Review: Young Frankenstein

This evening, I watched Young Frankenstein (or "Young Fronkensteen", if you will - more on that in a minute) with my family.
It was a great, funny movie. I like how the movie stayed generally true to the original movie plot (except for the ending, of course; in the original, the monster is killed, whereas this movie ends happily with the newly sophisticated monster marrying Elizabeth and Frankenstein with his newly enlarged reproductive organ marrying Inga) while putting in some (maybe not-so-) subtle running gags (like how Frankenstein, to distance himself from his mad scientist grandfather, prefers the pronunciation "Fronkensteen", or how whenever Frau Bluecher's name is said (wherever), the horses neigh).

However, something at the beginning of the movie concerned me. It has nothing at all to do with the actual plot or production of the movie; rather, it is related to the fact that this is a DVD. There is this almost frightening sequence at the beginning by the MPAA about how you wouldn't steal a car or a cell phone, so you also shouldn't illegally download a movie. While this of course means that downloading a movie is currently illegal, what is questionable is how morally wrong/repugnant downloading a movie is compared to stealing a car or a cell phone.
The point is, with all these new technologies involving acquiring professionally created content (e.g. music, books), the legal method has to be easier than the illegal method. With the freeing of music from DRM and other restrictions, illegal downloads of music on P2P networks have dropped precipitously while legitimate sales on sites like the iTunes store have shot up ever since; the reverse is still true (as it once was for restricted (e.g. DRMed) music) for restricted (e.g. DRMed) movies. The MPAA needs to learn now that something like the iTunes store, and not a set of draconian restrictions, is the business model of the age of the Internet.

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