Saturday, October 26, 2013

In Review: "The Fifth Estate"

The movie, "The Fifth Estate" is bombing at the box office. I saw the movie on Friday at the 4:15 PM showing at the Century San Francisco Centre 9. Including me, there were five people in the audience. One would think there are many hackers in the SF area that would want to see the film.

I have to attribute the poor audience to the masterful negative campaign launched by Wikileaks about the film.

Wikileaks first ran some negative reviews about the film and then, on the days before the opening, they tweeted out a bunch of tweets from those who supposedly saw the film and found it boring. The strategy has apparently worked and the Wikileaks crowd is sitting the film out.

The negative stance that Wikileaks has taken on the film is because the film is based on a book by disgruntled former-employee Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Julian Assange fired  Domscheit-Berg and the book was payback.  The film appears to be more payback.In at least 3 or 4 spots in the film there are clearly way out of line shots taken at Assange.

As for the film being boring, put it this way, it is not suspenseful, but it holds your attention the way a documentary would.

Despite the cheap shots at Assange, the film does come off as presenting Assange very much like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, that is, a very unique personality, very driven and not necessarily empathetic to those around him.


  1. Sweet. At least HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax will all have another movie that they can afford to show 4 times per day.

  2. Forget all the inner politics and personality strife. OK, the movie is just so-so but.... the main take away is that the hackers are the good guys fighting the bad guys with evil secrets. And that also is the main take away from the most recent Bourne movies. A state cannot last long when its veneer of legitimacy comes into doubt. They usually forestall their demise by giving the people a sacrificial lamb, someone's head on a platter. I expect this to be their next step and for it to be either Alexander or Clapper. Afterwards it will be biz as usual for the unrepentant swine. Nevertheless the veneer of legitimacy still takes a hit, just not as big of a hit. And like a cat with nine lives, there is a time coming when they reach their end. Then there is revolution and bloodshed. If history tells us anything, it is that reform is a myth and that revolt, coup, and insurrections are the fate of expiring political structures.

  3. Every eight years they offer a head on a platter. Nothing ever changes because everything is always the last guys fault or the other side won't let us fix anything