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Antitrust the Movie Opened Jan 12

By HomeySmurf in Op-Ed
Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:10:47 AM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)

I just got back from seeing Antitrust. Which is definately a geek oriented movie (although lacking in a lot of accuracy).

I actually thought it was a pretty decent movie, in its own way. (I especially love anything with Claire Forlani in it actually, so maybe I'm biased). There was a weird bit about satellites having IP addresses, but any movie that has open source programmers as the main heroes, has to garner some sort of attention, right? Does this herald in a new age when RMS and Linus will be pop heroes?

It wasn't particularly daring in its plot, and the whole story line was immediately apparent within almost the first 5 minutes (basically if you've seen the previews you could write your own version of the screenplay), but I think that actual execution was well done. There are some nice effects, and a neat view of what is essentially a cinematic take on the Redmond campus. For that matter Tim Robbins does an excellent job portraying a Bill Gates type character, even down to a neat quirk of messily eating Pringles.

The least realistic thing I would have to say that I saw in the movie was the Skull Box group's activities in the 'Palo Alto' garage. Anyone who is rich enough to have a place with a garage in Palo Alto, would definately have it filled with Porsches, and more then enough money to put the kids up in a more approriate office space. I was also disapointed that MGM didn't create some kind of cool www.skull-bocks.com website.

Any other comments or opinions?


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Antitrust the Movie Opened Jan 12 | 29 comments (26 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
DTA (3.57 / 7) (#1)
by radar bunny on Fri Jan 12, 2001 at 10:38:44 PM EST

Don't Trust Anybody!

That, to me, apeares to be the plot line. Please correct me if i'm wrong. The point it, I've become tired of these story lines where everyone but the main character and some hapless wonderer seems to be in on the conspiracy. I'll probably wait for video unless I hear enogh REALY good reviews from peopel I know and trust comeout of this one.

Well, what do you expect? (3.33 / 3) (#3)
by Seumas on Fri Jan 12, 2001 at 11:29:09 PM EST

Would you rather have a conspiracy movie where everyone is in on it except the main character and some hapless wonder?

Oh wait, that's The Truman Show.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Another Hollywood haxor flick? (3.60 / 10) (#2)
by Seumas on Fri Jan 12, 2001 at 11:27:17 PM EST

I grimace every time another movie or television show about computers or the internet come out.

Just like anything else, you have to research the subject before writing a plot about it. It seems that research is beyond the abilities of most writers, directors and producers.

When the extent of your research is watching super-bowl commercials, you end up with things like that airplane-crash flick I watched on television a few years back. The one where one of the passengers happened to be a hacker carrying his Macintosh laptop. All he had to do was plug it directly into the airplanes sparking and flaming system, bypassing direct system-control and he was able to pilot the airplane into a safe landing through his keyboard. This was on one of the major networks, mind you.

AntiTrust has grabbed my attention though. I never go to the theater anymore. At most, I buy the DVD movies that look interesting (renting is such a hassle) or watch them on HBO, MAX or any of the other channels if it's something I wouldn't have thought about buying or totally forgot about.

The main reason AntiTrust grabbed my attention when I first saw advertisements for it the other day had nothing to do with the film itself. I heard Everclear and saw a segment of one of their videos at the beginning of the trailer. I'm a big Everclear fan, even after their last couple of questionable releases. The other thing that caught my attention was Tim Robbins. If I recall (I'd have to check the back of the DVD case), he was also in Arlington Road -- which was an awesome movie. I would probably buy the movie (or at least watch it on cable in a couple months) for Tim Robbins alone.

Before reading this article, I wasn't sure if the movie was going to be tongue-in-cheek like Hackers or pathetic like The Net -- or maybe even serious, well researched and well presented. At least now, I'll jump into it knowing to take it as a cheap thrill at best with (hopefully) a compelling effort by Robbins.
I just read K5 for the articles.

Not ignorance (2.80 / 5) (#7)
by Holloway on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 08:06:36 AM EST

It's not a mistake that they got it wrong. Their priority is to cater to an audience not briefed on the topic. These are smart people, and they know what works.

I grimace too, we all do.

== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

satelites (4.00 / 5) (#4)
by Refrag on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:05:00 AM EST

Isn't there at least one satelite with an IP address now? I thought one that HAM radio operators use has an IP address... I looked on Google but couldn't find anything.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

yep (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by lazygun on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 11:51:28 AM EST

Yep look here http://www.beyond2000.com/news/story_612.html

Engineers from the Operating Missions as Nodes on the Internet (OMNI) project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have Internet access to spacecraft. The OMNI team uploaded standard Internet software to the orbiting UoSAT-12 micro-satellite deployed in 1999 by UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. They then activated the software and successfully "pinged" the satellite

[ Parent ]

Haven't seen it.... (3.25 / 12) (#5)
by jbridge21 on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:00:53 AM EST

... and don't plan to, at least not until the MPAA decides that they have something better to do than strive for infinite profit, and pursue a bunch of brainf****d legal cases.

Who's with me on the boycott?

i'm down. divx all the way! =) (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by sayke on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:30:37 AM EST

awwwwwwww yea... bandwith + friends + 21 inch monitor = mad divxishness. what, did somebody say something about routing around the mpaa? ya never know... kids these days route around all kinds of shite.

sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Misconception... (3.50 / 4) (#10)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 10:33:22 PM EST

Anyone who is rich enough to have a place with a garage in Palo Alto, would definately have it filled with Porsches

Eh, have you ever been to Palo Alto at all? Plenty of places with garages but no Porsches.


about the pringles (4.33 / 3) (#11)
by ODiV on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 02:25:16 AM EST

The only movie that I've seen recently that had more noticable product placement in it was Cast Away, where Fed Ex was an actual part of the movie. I suppose they did have a ThinkGeek shirt too though.

The funniest thing of course, is going to be everyone pirating this movie, which promotes the message "Information wants to be free!" and then the MPAA getting all pissed at them. It's almost as bad as people going out and buying Fight Club which says "Consumerism sucks!" (Yeah okay, I did that too).

Antitrust was a decent movie though. Tim Robbins did an excellent job and Ryan Phillipe is starting to earn my respect (He's good in The Way of the Gun as well). So there were a couple technicalities that us geeks will point out, but it still wasn't bad. It was more realistic than The Net or Hackers anyway.

[ odiv.net ]
Interviews with Open Source Hackers on webpage (3.66 / 6) (#12)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 03:51:55 AM EST

The thing that always interested me about Antitrust is that the webpage has interviews with notable Open Source hackers like Jon 'maddog' Hall and Miguel de Icaza , where they ask them questions like "What Do You See As The Future Of Linux?" and "Is Open Source Software More Advanced Than Proprietary Software?". For a while I thought the webpage had been h4x0red and someone put those interviews up there as a prank.

Miguel de Icaza was _IN_ the movie! (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by Tumbleweed on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 12:49:38 PM EST

There's a scene where they show a programmer receiving an award of some sort - and the presenter is Miguel de Icaza. Very cool.

I must be a geek - the first thing I thought when I saw the HTML playing across the screen in the beginning is, "That's not XHTML compliant." *sigh* The HTML was probably written by some C programmer (notoriously bad at HTML)...

[ Parent ]
Miguel de Icaza (none / 0) (#22)
by Refrag on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 08:50:54 PM EST

Who is Miguel de Icaza?


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Miguel de Icaza (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by Tumbleweed on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:12:32 PM EST

...is the creator of Gnome and some Gnome apps (such as Gnumeric).

[ Parent ]
Miguel de Icaza (none / 0) (#27)
by Refrag on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 02:57:12 PM EST

I thought that he worked at Gnome. I didn't know he was the founder though.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

Miguel de Icaza (none / 0) (#28)
by Tumbleweed on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 04:53:25 PM EST

Yep, he started Gnome and Gnumeric. He is also co-founder of Ximian (formerly Helix Code - they changed their name last week). He's accomplished a _lot_ for someone his age, so say the least. He's still just a punk kid! :^)

He's kinda like Linus, only on the user-side, instead of the kernel side.

[ Parent ]
Mr. Gnome [nt] (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:14:55 PM EST

"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I thought it was pretty good (3.20 / 5) (#14)
by jdtux on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 12:54:34 PM EST

I went and saw it last night with a non-geek friend, and he said it wasn't bad, but he wouldn't go and see it again.

The coolest thing I thought about it was that Linux was in it. They didn't actually SAY it, but you would've realized they were talking about it unless you're a complete mental retard. Although I'm slightly annoyed that they only used GNOME. They should've gotten some cool looking stuff like KDE2, BB, and/or E :)

Also cool that they actually mentioned open source in the movie. So is this going to help the open source movement? Presenting open source in an action flick?

btw. What's op-ed supposed to be for anyway?

Forgot to mention... (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by jdtux on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 05:21:01 PM EST

...There's no way "Milo" could've been a real hacker. He typed WAY too slow.

It still warmed my geeky little heart to see ps, and all the command line flags he used =)

[ Parent ]

typing (none / 0) (#23)
by Refrag on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 08:51:33 PM EST

He has to type slow enough for people to be able to read what he's typing.


Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

I still don't know what I thought of the movie (3.00 / 5) (#15)
by phunbalanced on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:32:29 PM EST

but I was SO happy to see Gnome / X / linux prominantly displayed on almost every box Phillipe sat down to. Even if he was the least likely geek candidate....

I kept leaning over to my gf and saying.. "See that little footprint?" ... "uh huh. that's nice honey" oh well, can't win em' all...

oh and was it just more or were those IP's on the satelites non-routable? kinda like using 555..

Kinsley disses Open Source based on "Antitrus (4.20 / 5) (#17)
by brainwane on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 05:47:21 PM EST

The newest Slate "Readme" by editor-in-chief (and noted liberal pundit) Michael Kinsley completely gets open source wrong, BASED on the portrayal in "Antitrust." Maybe the movie has set us BACK.

Your chicken, your egg, your problem.

biased journalists.... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by dabadab on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:46:08 AM EST

Oh, yes, he points out that the movie paints a totally false image of MS, yet he makes the assumption that its portray of the free/open source sw movement is totally accurate.
Of course, that's what you would expect from someone publishing on MSN :)
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
AntiTrust (spoilers) (4.00 / 3) (#19)
by Alarmist on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 10:43:20 AM EST

I saw this on the 12th, and kind of wish I had waited for a matinee or until it hit the dollar theaters.

The Chinese guy raves about the value of Open Source, but doesn't actually say what it is. Perhaps I misremember, but I don't think anyone in the film actually talked about why open source would be better; the rant that vaguely described open source vs. closed source made arguments that were about as substantive as those found in a soda commercial.

Geniuses, eh? Is that why they both waited until 10:00 p.m. exactly to start their little duel? And why wouldn't Milo have done the reasonably intelligent thing and started in the middle of the stack, instead of at the beginning?

Who has the bandwidth to pipe 20-30 real-time high-resolution images to anywhere on the globe?

Synapse is supposed to let anyone anywhere transmit any message in any media to anywhere else. Really? Synapse will handle cuneiform on clay bricks?

One word: bandwidth. Don't give me any of this "compression" garbage either. There's a limit to how much a cell phone can handle from a high bandwidth line, in much the same way that there's a limit to how much a styrofoam cup can hold under Niagara Falls.


Go.. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by wolfie on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 02:04:31 AM EST

see Office Space instead.
It might not have anything to do with open source whatsoever.. but it shows a bit of the whole dilbert/cubicle culture and is just damn funny..

Be Careful (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by mdavids on Tue Jan 16, 2001 at 07:50:28 PM EST

I haven't seen the movie, but regardless of it's quality I'm worried by it. Media companies are realising that "open source" is "hot", and are attempting to co-opt the culture, which brings in the bucks, while ignoring the substance, which is useless to them. If the movie was the best in history, I wouldn't consider it's making to be a portent of good things to come.

Think about how long it took for rock and roll to degenerate into Elvis Presley movies and plastic Beatle wigs in Woolworths.

The time is rapidly approaching when the philosophical distinction between Linus and RMS is going to become crucially important. Do we want "world domination", or "free software"? Media conglomerates will help us achieve the former objective, but have a great deal of hostility towards the latter.

Antitrust the Movie Opened Jan 12 | 29 comments (26 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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