Pre-release Pirating? Boo!

Wolverine

Show of hands. How many of you have already seen the once and future smash hit X-Men Origins: Wolverine? How many of you plan on watching it before the end of the weekend? Well, Boo! Shame on you. Don't you know better than to ruin the potential box office grosses of a big budget Hollywood movie? There are a lot of jobs and lives riding on the line. Your willingness to forgo the opening weekend excitement that comes with sunny summer weather and unprotected teenage sex is un-American. We've become a country built on opening weekend predictions and high profit outcomes. Watching the box office charts, and seeing the numbers roll in on Monday morning, is apple pie, baseball, and the stock market all rolled into one. With this, the biggest on-line leak in the history of cinema, we are seeing a complete and evil deconstruction of the dream we're all aiming for as free-living citizens. Careers are crumbling. And Hugh Jackman may never host the Oscars again.

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Though the person responsible for this leak is an inbred, bowel-infested hitman of the lowest form, its really all you little bastards out there that are going to do the most damage. Fuck you hungry little teens with your comp-suave ways. Your gotta-have-it habits and eagerness to be first is going to wipe out and bankrupt a whole studio barn full of artists that didn't need this ballbat to the kneecaps at such a down time in American history. Image this. You come to Hollywood not seeking fortune and fame. Instead, you are a background artist or an editor. You've been struggling to make it big in the world of make-up, or you've been toiling away in your mother's basement dungeon, perfecting the art of CGI and crafting new ways to make this shit look realistic. Now imagine that your first work as a real artist is ripped out from under your arms and smashed over a porcelain toilet before you've gotten a chance to show it to anybody. At the same time, you are pick pocketed by that crazy sewer dwelling beast from TOKYO! He doesn't even bother to spend your money. Instead, he chews it and eats it, and spits it in the face of the homeless lining the wall of the soup kitchen that now stands where 20th Century Fox's old commissary used to be. You know that old saying, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings?" Well, every time one of you Digg and Buzz hack fanatics decides to download and watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine, another PA gets capped in the face. A lot of people have been Japped here, folks. And you are helping to bury the hatchet in deeper.

It's been my suspicion for quite sometime that certain studios are behind a lot of the ongoing film leaks that we see on a non-stop basis. It's the only thing that makes sense in this worldly climate. I don't fault them. It's the smart thing to do. When a film gets released, there's a whole faction of film-starved individuals that aren't able to get to the theater. A Mexican family of seven praying and hoping for half an orange after dad gets back from his day of standing in the Home Depot parking lot doesn't have the money to seek out and see every single piece of cinematic trash that infiltrates the movie theater. With the pirating system as it stands, the studios can potentially make a lot of money off the poor unfortunate souls that can't afford a trip to the local Cineplex, or the $16.99 it takes to buy a digital antennae and wait for the dubbed and edited version to hit ThIStv. Nearly all on-line film leaks happen the weekend of release. Right now, it's a very slim fraction of the box office take that is being affected. It's not right, but with the studio's hand in the mix, some of that money can be flushed back into the system. That is not the case with X-Men Origins: Wolverine! The studio certainly had nothing to do with the blatant theft that has occurred here. It is kidnapping of the highest form. And it is going to work in crushing not only your hopes and dreams, but in totally destroying the theater going experience as well.

The leaking of X-Men Origins: Wolverine comes more than a month before its theatrical debut. Sure, Fox is scurrying to catch every dripping hole found on the surface of the web. But the guy behind Baskin and Robins already has it ready to go in a fancy package for five bucks a pop. The guy at the laundry mine is selling his for four. The damage is done. It is out there, waiting for your eager eyes. Regardless of whether you want it to or not, I suspect this film is going to get the best of you. You are going to be curious. You're not going to be able to wait it out another month. You are going to take a peek, maybe claiming it's in the interest of quality control. You will get sucked in. Before you realize any time has passed, you will have watched it. And you will have watched it again. You will be sick of the movie before it even has a chance to fly three inches off the ground. Well, guess what. You are the core audience for this gaddamn movie that you've been talking about for the last two years. And now, you're not going to see it on opening weekend. No matter how cool it is. And because of that, it is going to open at number forty-seven. You're going to shrug in the wake of this damage and exclaim, "So what? Its just a movie."

But fucker, that's not the case. When this opens poorly, Fox is going to look at that and throw their hands up in the air. They are going to cancel any and all future Wolverine engagements. It's a franchise that is going to soon go straight to video, just to avoid fathercock-chugging bastards like you and your "must watch it now" brethren. The quality is going to shrink. Our movies are going to suddenly start looking like crappier versions of Saturday morning kids' shows, like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Even more so than they do now. They wont be able to afford excellent and skilled professionals like Gavin Hood. Instead, we will see a rash of superhero and comic book movies being made by James Ryan, the auteur behind Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation. The movie business will head down the same road as the music business. We will start to see day-and-date releases for all movies. Movie theaters will soon go out of business. Buildings will crumble around us. I see you sitting there, scratching your head, thinking, "Awesome. That means no more seat kickers or cell phones interrupting my movie." Well, guess what, you slimy little thief. It also means a complete loss of community. It means the destruction of the filmmaking, and going, process as we know it. It might not seem like much to you now, but the pirating and leaked loss of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one tiny implosion that will have far reaching effects beyond anything you could even imagine. Remember when they didn't think the Twin Towers would fall because of the buildings' structural design? That they were too strong to go down in a heap of fiery flames? Well, it was a devastating tumble that shook the world as we know it. I'm not comparing this crime to that world-altering crisis, but the damage of the aftermath might look the same. Before you know it, we could be sitting in a heap of twisting metal and debris, wondering what happened to our cinematic lifestyle. Well, it seems that all of you pirating peep-show enthusiasts ruined it for everyone. Now, even the lamest of romantic comedies is going to suck more than usual. Your childless aunt is going to be spank-happy mad. And it's your ass she is going to come gunning for. This isn't a joke. This isn't to be taken lightly.

See what you've done? You little pricks. You have singly handedly destroyed Hollywood and the film industry as we know it by going out of your way to watch a movie early. And for free. Claiming to have put food into the mouths of Mexican babies when buying the five-dollar foot long bootleg isn't going to fly either. That's just a lousy excuse that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm not saying that this is an act of terrorism. It was clearly an inside job. No water marks. Pristine DVD quality. I suspect that a disgruntled employee with two key cards uploaded this oncoming train wreck out of spite. But he/she/it is only a cog in the machine. You are the next step in this chain letter of hate that is going to spread into the tender areas of the thigh and small intestine. That singular moment where you decide to watch the "bum-bum-bah-bum" 20th Century Fox logo, you become a culprit. You are a thief. A scoundrel. A true pioneer in the deconstruction and decimation of the Hollywood system. Yes. You are a criminal! Get out the black and blue-stripped pajamas, Tiger Lilly. You are about to be butt fucked in ways you can't even comprehend at this moment in time. It will be a long slow process that protracts the anus. One day, in the very near future, you will want to go to the movies on a Friday night with your potential fuck-mate, and you won't be able to. Because your backside will be one big gapping blood fissure rimmed with pitch-black cancerous shit that dribbles out and onto the floor in an uncontrollable spasm. You will never be able to escape the deathly smell of the evil you have wrought. And you will be forced into more boring evenings at The Cold Stone that used to sit next to your favorite Cineplex. Twiddling your thumbs. Wishing movies still existed.

But it doesn't have to be that way! Do the right thing. Turn your heads and ignore this leaked work print with its unfinished effects and mistimed color-coding. Pretend it doesn't exist, and go about your daily business. Wait for that opening weekend. Uh? What's that? You are incapable of waiting. This society of instant messaging and quick and easy downloads hasn't given you the patience needed? Well, then! I implore every single one of you to turn this mess around. If you watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine on-line, and decide not to see it at the theater, drive your ass down there and buy a ticket anyway. You're not just giving back to the overfed studio executives with the Lamborghini and the mile long swimming pool filled with naked chicks sipping linguini. You are giving back to an artistic community that needs to flourish in these harsh economic times. By at least buying that ticket you were going to in the first place, you are supporting the future artists of America. Why is this so important? Because I suspect that you are one of these so-called colonials. You need to realize that you are jeopardizing your own future. You are making the prospects of paid work an improbability for future generations. If you at all dream of someday working in Hollywood, or about being a part of the movie making process in some way, you will either not watch the on-line version of the film, or you will go buy that ticket like you were going to in the first place. Those more industrious individuals out there might even be able to get a bit of recognition if you start a "Fans Against Pirating" donation site not unlike what Radiohead did with there last album. Get the word out: Watch it, and then pay what you think its worth. Heck, you do it up right, and you might even make it onto The Tonight Show. Go door to door. Take up a collection like Obama's people did right before the election. Drive that cash to the front door of Fox. Maybe they'll make a movie about you and your efforts. Weirder things have happened.

Wolverine is Michael Jordin in Game 5 of the 1997 NFL Playoffs. He's got the flu, he's humped over in his seat, and it doesn't look like he is going to rise to the occasion. Only you can get him off his feet and rouse him to a 90-87 point win. This isn't about feeding the rich. This is about protecting the American dream. It's about saving the film industry as we know it. It's about doing what's right. Most of all, its about you not being a complete dick head. Dreams are one of the few things keeping us afloat in this harsh economic climate. For millions of out of work Americans, the movies are all they have to lift their spirits and make their nightmare drudge of a week just a tiny bit better. By engaging in the nefarious act that is downloading X-Men Origins: Wolverine a full month before its release date, you are crushing the American dream, and everything our red, white, and blue flag stands for. You are a communist. A socialist pig. And before you know it, you will be living in complete and utter squalor, amidst a riot of your own making. The streets will flow with your skin and blood. And by 2012, that golden Mecca known as the Cineplex will be a dinosaur, wiped off the face of a planet planning for complete annihilation.

Listen up, Nerds! It begins and ends with you! If you watch the movie, pay the ticket price. It's that simple.

Whoop-doo! Eat food! Kill Grandma! Happy April Fools day! I'm off to the laundry mines. (P.S. - If you know of a site that is offering the leaked film, do the right thing and send a link to [email protected] He is helping turn this madness around, and he could use your assistance! Don't let good cinema die!)

B. Alan Orange