The Download: Celebs' Leaked Photos, Crying Elephants, and Dwayne Johnson

Posted 3:39 PM September 7th, 2014 by Binh Ngo
Jennifer Lawrence

Some celebrities got their phones hacked and their private photos are leaked online. We discuss that and more on this week's Download.

Binh: If any of you are planning to release some nude photos of yourselves in an attempt to become some sort of instant internet celebrity, I gotta tell you, this is not the time to do it because yours will be competing with those of Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, and others because their phone accounts got hacked and their private pictures are out there for all to see.

Jeff: Gosh, people sure are gross, aren't they?

Binh: Just part of the human condition, Jeff. This is really not about the photos themselves, but about the invasion of private space. It's like thieves coming into your home and made off with personal things. You won't feel safe there afterwards.

Jeff: You think it's about invasion of private space? I think it's mainly about boobies. I mean, you don't see Ryan Gosling's phone getting hacked.

Binh: Oh, I agree. The motivation for the perpetrator(s) might be boobs, but for the victims, it's an invasion of private space.

Jeff: I can't even imagine what that must do to a person's head.

Binh: You referring to the crime, the reaction, or the boobs?

Jeff: Hmm. Must choose words carefully...

Binh: What? What did I say?

Jeff: No, no, nothing. I was just joking. I was talking before about how it must feel to have your private stuff shared among strangers all over the world, and know there isn't anything you can do to stop it.

Binh: Generalizing here, but like I've said, the pics are not the problem with the some of the victims because they've stripped down for their work before. But the idea that someone is peeping at you at your most private moments? That's freaky as heck!

Sara: Speaking of boobs, one detail I just learned was that hacker who got into the celebrity phone accounts sent their feed to a specific lot of emails--which means it was somehow calculated. I don't understand technology but the fact the pix were shared before they were leaked seems relevant to the dialogue about privacy and rights.

Binh: That's the price of being a celebrity – people wants to know every detail about you. As to how this relates to movies, this is sort of the dynamics between indies and blockbusters. If you (indie) were to release nude photos of yourself, nobody would care to look while they would flock to see those of J Lawrence's (blockbuster). So any talk of the death of movie stars is really just that and is the wishful thinking of bean counters.

Jeff: But there's still a difference between a celebrity and a movie star, yes? People want to see both categories naked, but only one can convince people to pay for a movie ticket. (In theory, anyway.)

Binh: Right. While having a name actor in the movie won't guarantee a movie's success, it greatly improves the odds.

Jeff: Whereas any famous beautiful person is going to attract prurient interest. So I don't know if this whole scandal proves that movie stars are still alive and well; if anything, I think it just reinforces the reality that when given the opportunity to secretly peek at things we aren't supposed to see, a lot of us will give in to temptation.

Binh: Of course, nothing will be proven by this scandal, but, in general, movie stars generate interest and hopefully that interest turns into intent, which will then leads to action. I'm not saying name actors are the end all and be all; they're just another selling point. And yes, people will look at things that pique their interest.

Moving on, remember that Salon news story about Raju the elephant? They're really making a movie out of it!

Jeff: Elephants are hot all of a sudden! There's also an elephant in The One and Only Ivan, which I think Mike White is adapting for Disney.

Binh: Don't forget about the live-action/CGI Dumbo remake! Sounds like they're going to make it into a feel good family movie instead of a thriller like Zero Dark Thirty as I envisioned. Seriously, when was the last movie with an animal as the main star?

Jeff: Hmm. More recently than Benji, right? I think Disney had a mild hit or two in the '90s with live-action movies starring animals whose thoughts were voiced by Michael J. Fox and Meryl Streep or something.

Sara: Oh, the one where rodents were spies! Huge flop. Air Bud pretty much soured me on all animal movies. I think they should go straight to video where they can live happily with the kids who want them and the adults who can walk away to do the laundry. (That said, I'm totally watching the crying elephant movie.)

Binh: I'm sure you would!

Sara: I wouldn't take family to it, though. I think your Zero Dark Thirty approach to the Raju story is a kind of protective effort. Kids really shouldn't watch animal cruelty for fun.

Binh: But awards!

Sara: You make a sound (if irksome) point. I can't believe none of us shouted out Dolphin Tale 2! Wow, slow brain this week. I already want school to end.

Binh: Okay, let's close this Download with some Dwayne Johnson news. He has confirmed that he'll be playing Black Adam in Warners' Shazam!, which apparently is not connected to what they're doing with Batman v Superman and Justice League. I don't know much about the character, but good call by WB to cast Johnson since his movies are doing well right now.

Jeff: Dwayne Johnson, Franchise Fuel! I hope he has that on his business card.

It's a little odd that they aren't planning on tying this in with their big ol' Shared Cinematic Universe, but then again, I suppose this character asks for a more comedic treatment than the DC-proper movies tend to get.

Sara: I appreciate The Rock. I'm surprised he hasn't been a superhero yet. The man's mostly chest meat.

Jeff: Plus teeth whiter than Utah and an artfully arched eyebrow.

Binh: And he can cook!

Sara: You've eaten with him?!

Binh: No, but he's always asking people if they could smell what he's cooking so I assume he's a great cook.

Let's just hope they don't just take the plot of his Tooth Fairy and slap Shazam! over it.

Sara: Binh, I've got this really great bridge to show you.

Binh: Oh come on! Like that's going to work on me a second time. All right, have a great weekend everyone!

Sara: Wait! RIP Joan Rivers! I'm sad she's gone. And didn't realize until she passed I had no idea how old she's like her plastic surgery strategy worked while the whole world believed it was a big mistake.

Binh: Thanks for that, Sara. She was a pioneer and kept working right up until the end. Not bad for an eighty year old. That's all for this edition. Thanks for joining us.

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