Posted by Lance Koonce
It may sound like a public health warning, but apparently a late night with an illicit movie downloading site can leave you with a very nasty infection.
Tech analysts in China have announced that users downloading Ang Lee's thriller Lust, Caution from any one of hundreds of Chinese websites offering the film up for free have found themselves in the position of that befuddled alien in Independence Day, who realizes only a few moments too late that he's (she's? it's?) just uploaded the galactic equivalent of a wooden-horse-thingy hiding millions of tiny Greek nano-soldiers. The befuddlement, of course, stems from being outwitted by Geena Davis's ex-husband and the Fresh Prince.
What does this mean? That screenwriters are morons, of course -- there's simply no chance those aliens zipped across the galaxy, took out our nukes, but forgot to install McAfee or Norton. But that's all been noted before. Let's instead take this as a cautionary tale anyway: No matter how much you LUST after free downloads, always use CAUTION. Although downloaders of free pornography have known this for some time, apparently they're not as vocal a group as Chines movie buffs. Who knew?
Of course, while some sites may simply be doing their part in making sure that Ang Lee's message gets shared with the world with no remuneration for Mr. Lee, is it really that surprising that sites offering free downloads of any hot content may be luring users in for some other purpose?
Still, the temptation to download here may be particularly acute. Ang Lee was forced to "personally cut on-screen sex and other scenes in Lust, Caution to allow it to pass Chinese censors and screen on the mainland." One assumes the free downloads are uncensored versions. Given that Chinese doctors also have been dispensing medical advice warning moviegoers "not to try some of the more ambitious sexual positions featured in the uncut version of the film", the dangers of Lust, Caution seem to be pretty severe all around.
At least the downloaders in China don't have to stare at Jeff Goldblum as their mothership goes up in flames around them. Now that would be sick.