This Week’s MPN Podcast: ‘Fall’, ‘Film Noir’; Box Office Report; Study Asks Does Movie Piracy Benefit Movies?

On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley return to the early days of cinema, this time with a trio of film noir movies from Kino Lorber’s “Dark Side of Cinema” collection, this being the ninth installment.

Scott Marks reviews Take One False Step, Tangier, and Lady on a Train, all from the post-World War II 1940s. Charles remembers watching Lady on a Train in his classic film class, but Charlie pokes fun at him for only recalling the details of the movie present in the title — namely, that it stars a lady, and takes place in part on a train. Reviewer Marks mantains it is the least film noir of the collection, steering closer to comedy.

The other review of the week is for Fall, by John Latchem. What Charlie finds interesting about this movie is that it contains elements of guerilla filmmaking, which he thinks always adds some rawness to a movie. In this case, some of the equipment from the shoot was purchased, used, and returned immediately. Charlie recalls a movie where the crew didn’t acquire permits to shoot a scene on a subway and opted to discreetly film anyway.

At the box office, Black Adam continues its third, and likely last, weekend occupying the No. 1 spot. Worldwide, it has grossed over $300 million, but next weekend comes the next MCU movie, Wakanda Forever. Both hosts expect that movie to easily top Black Adam’s entire gross in a single weekend. The other movie capturing the hosts’ attentions is Avatar 2, which released another trailer. They’ll keep the joke going as long as possible that the movie will be incredible, but neither will remember a single detail about it.

Wrapping up the episode is a discussion about a study researching online piracy and its apparent lack of negative effect on movie sales. It argues that the desire for online streamers to download more movies motivates them to invest in higher bandwidth internet speeds, which benefits ISPs. The downstream effect was to accelerate the transition from cable TV to legal online streaming platforms like Netflix because the infrastructure to support streaming video is much more robust. It was an interesting study overall and makes a compelling argument against the typical narrative that piracy unequivocally hurts studios.

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