North Korea

"The Interview": Open Thread

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So…whaddya think?

The controversial film is now screening in a few moviehouses around the country and on a streaming device near you.

It's currently rocking a 72 percent audience rating and 50 percent critics rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

I've got 40 minutes to go and am starting to wonder if the #SONYHACK wasn't the best goddamn publicity plan ever. I'd say it's worth a $5.99 rental, but I'm not sure what year I'm using as a baseline for inflation.

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  1. We’ll probably hold our nose and rent it. I’m beginning to think this was the biggest scam in movie history.

    1. You mean Sony selectively hacks itself and “leaks” supposedly highly sensitive documents that allow it to trash their terrible contract with Adam Sandler, rip some stars they don’t like, and show everyone how they’re going to reboot Spiderman from the horrible Andrew Garfield films (reviving that franchise) and they can claim it’s all the North Koreans’ fault that this stuff they probably wanted to air got out? Then they were able to sell an absolutely horrible film to the public using patriotism as the hook, and just to sell it they paid a few hackers to bring down the entire North Korea Internet?

      If that were the case, it would be the most AWESOME marketing strategy of all time. 🙂

      1. Given what Amy Pascal has been going through for weeks, I don’t think she had anything to do with this.

        I still think it was the Norks, or people hired by them.

        1. You mean what Amy Pascal has “reportedly” been going through this week? 🙂

          1. Do you think all the talk in the trades about her job being in danger is faked? Do you think this is Photoshopped?

            1. I don’t know if any of it is faked. I’m just engaging in fun conspiracy theories.

              Lighten up. 🙂

              1. Sorry, a whoosh for me. I’ve been seeing a lot of ridiculous skepticism online recently. One modded-up comment on Slashdot said this was all a ruse so that the US could get its hands on the valuable, highly-trained North Korean workforce.

                1. “One modded-up comment on Slashdot said this was all a ruse so that the US could get its hands on the valuable, highly-trained North Korean workforce.”

                  Dunno about “highly trained”, but you can be sure they’re hungry!

                  1. Yeah, but it’s a laughable idea that this is all a US plot to get the labor of a bunch of ill-educated North Koreans who don’t speak English. We already have more ill-educated non-English speakers than we know what to do with.

                    1. We already have more ill-educated non-English speakers than we know what to do with.

                      also.

                2. “One modded-up comment on Slashdot…”

                  I think I’ve identified your problem.

                3. I’ve been seeing a lot of ridiculous skepticism online recently.

                  No worries…it can be tough sometimes to tell the people just being absurd from the hardcore nutters. 🙂

        2. The problem with it being the norks is the complete irony of Guardians of Peace -which they’ve been abbreviating GOP.

          Seriously, you think anyone north of the DMZ has that kind of wit?

      2. I don’t think any hacker could keep all of that hacking covered up.

        1. Probably not. It would just be hilarious.

  2. So…whaddya think?
    I think sitting through a Seth Rogen flick is too high a price to pay to strike a blow for free speech.

    1. I might buy a ticket and sneak into “Unbroken”.

      1. No please no, don’t buy a ticket to a Seth Rogen movie, it only encourages him.

    2. This^ I just watched Neighbors with my kids. How the fuck is Rogen still working?

      1. That movie was truly awful.

      2. How the fuck is Rogen still working?

        Because:

        The film was released in the United States on May 9, 2014 to positive reviews and grossed over $268 million against a budget of $18 million.

        From Wikipedia:

        http://tinyurl.com/n9glqgn

      3. How the fuck is Rogen still working?

        Because for every crappy live-action movie he does, he does a couple of pretty good voiceover roles or cameos like when he plays Dirty Randy in “The League”.

        “The League” on its own is enough to make me like him…even if the guy who plays Rafi is better. 🙂

        1. Never seen The League. I thought Rogen was funny in Knocked Up. “These mushrooms are turning on me” was one of the funniest scenes that this genre has to offer. Maybe I’m biased, because I actually like Paul Rudd.

          1. The League is worth pulling up on Netflix. Brutal and effective humor. 🙂

      4. I had to avert my eyes when the commercials for Neighbors were on.

    3. I tried watching Neighbors, lasted about two minutes after seeing him. Just can’t stand any movie he’s got anything to do with.

      I put it in my Netflix queue just to boost demand, and may either send it back unwatched or cancel it before it ships. But I won’t watch it.

    4. I really enjoyed ‘This is the End’, personally.

      1. That was some good mindless fun.

  3. I bought it and watched it last night. The first hour is filled with butt and dick jokes, very sophomoric with a few funny parts. Once they get with Kim Jong Un the movie is quite a bit better and has some more subtle and ironic humor. It pales in comparison to Chaplin’s classic takedown of Hitler in The Great Dictator, but it’s more comparable with Sasha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator. ‘B-‘

    1. The Dictator was very, very funny.

      The Great Dictator is also funny, but problematic. One can see it as de-emphasizing Hitler’s menace, by turning him into a mere figure of fun. Remember, Chaplin had far-left (if not actual Communist) views, and the movie was filmed and released during the period when Stalin and Hitler were allies. “Don’t worry about this absurd fellow with the funny mustache” would have been a Moscow-approved message at the time.

      1. The story at the time was, if I recall my film history correctly, that Hitler had been compared to Chaplin before and he absolutely hated the comparisons. Chaplin, knowing this, did The Great Dictator as both a critique of Nazi anti-Semitism and an epic troll to piss off Hitler.

        1. I don’t doubt that, it’s just that the way he trolled Hitler was oddly in congruence with the Party line of the time.

      2. The Dictator was very, very funny.

        It was meh. Borat Bruno The Dictator

        1. fuck

          Borat is better than Bruno is better than The Dictator

  4. I just watched it. I thought it was great ! It’s nice to see a movie that hasn’t been ” feminized ” too . Lots of movies are made to pander to the female audience . (i.e. Iron Man 3 and any romcom ) This movie is NOT one of them . Seth Rogan rocks and I love that he is for the legalization of Marijuana ! Well done Seth !

  5. Won’t see it on principle. Intentionally provoking an unstable incumbent head of state. It all reads like a script cooked up between the State Department and Sony’s Government Affairs Department.

    Demagogues chant cyber-war. Senate consideration of cyber security bills advanced. May Sony tank for their intentions. FBI’s finding of fact should be public. We are all parties in this.

    1. PAUL, MOM SAYS TO TAKE OFF YOUR TINFOIL HAT AND COME UPSTAIRS TO DINNER!

      /Paul’s little sister

      1. ” We are all parties in this.”

        I know someone who is especially party to this.

    2. Paul Carey|12.25.14 @ 2:22PM|#
      “Won’t see it on principle. Intentionally provoking an unstable incumbent head of state.”

      Leave Obo out of this!

    3. It all reads like a script cooked up between the State Department and Sony’s Government Affairs Department.

      That is actually my theory. However, if that’s the case, then I approve. The North Korean regime is so horrific, but the only way we can touch it is by undermining it from within. That is what this film does – it subverts the regime by implanting all sorts of ideas, like undercutting the God-King image of the supreme leader and reinforcing doubts about Kim Jong Un’s leadership ability.

      1. “That is actually my theory.”

        Really? Have you copyrighted it? because i’ve already shopped my treatment for the sequel.

  6. So…whaddya think?

    I think one should use JPG for photographic images, not PNG.

  7. Your link to Rotten Tomatoes is just a JPG. Here’s correct link:
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/…..view_2014/

    I suspect that I’ve seen all the “good” parts of the movie in various trailers and snips, so I’ll be waiting until it hits On Demand for free. Most of the audience “favorable” rating is probably delight that the bad guy gets it in the end.

  8. A comedy featuring Seth Rogan and James Franco has caused a kerfluffle that enraged a dictator and created a major international upset. If Kim Jong Un didn’t appear to be a petty little man before…….

    Seth Rogan and James Franco. Just let that sink in for a few minutes.

    1. That’s all part of the irony. The way the Norks are behaving exactly mirrors the ludicrousness with which they are portrayed in the film. They are actually playing into every stereotype of North Koreans as crazy, brainwashed, and backward, that the movie makes fun of.

  9. Best part was the beginning when Eminem came out of the closet.

    1. I thought someone saying “his head looks like someone’s taint” was pretty damn hilarious in a different interview in the start.

  10. If there’s anything that makes me want to defect to North Korea, it’s Seth Rogen. With that being aid, it’s about time someone made a movie about Louis Zamperini. I’m going to go see “Unbroken” in a day or two, even if it was made by Angelina Jolie.

    Onward and upward,
    airforce

  11. Are you honeydickin’ me?

    1. Haha well I am cute

  12. Very funny movie. So funny! Eff North Korea. Pinkos!

  13. Hey it’s Dr. Wen from Scrubs and Annyong from Arrested Development.

  14. Wasn’t this supposed to be released today for steaming? I can’t find it on Netflix.

    1. Not Netflix. YouTube, Google Play (basically the same thing), whatever they call XBox’s built-in streaming service, and some bespoke Sony thing that’s supposed to be kinda crappy (shock of the century).

      1. You can also find it on bittorrent.

  15. I’ll try to say this politely: the “Sony was behind its own hacking” conspiracy theory is incredibly fucking retarded.

    I think most mentions here have been in jest, but I have seen it invoked seriously many times now, and it is jaw-droppingly stupid, or at the very least, ignorant of what took place.

    It’s not “just” potentially career-ending gossip-fodder that went out — though that, by itself, would cast extreme doubt on this theory. So was, among other things, personal employee information (social security numbers, medical records, etc.) — which they could end up being liable* for — and proprietary business information such as syndication contracts, strategy documents, acquisition proposals, and a variety of highly detailed accounting information.

    And the attackers, whoever they are, didn’t “just” leak all this information. They also supposedly** wiped many machines at Sony, including some backups; “word on the street” is that a lot of work has slowed to a crawl — some of it sounds like ERP systems were taken down, though I don’t know for sure.

    And consider the risk to Sony’s reputation, wrt their ability to keep information under wraps. It may not turn out to hurt them in the long term, but is that the risk an exec would want to take?

    Oh, and there’s that whole criminal terroristic threats thing. Yeah, that sounds like something they’d do for a publicity stunt.

    1. So yeah, it’s pretty fucking retarded. If you’re interested, this is a really extensive rundown of what was leaked. I’ve only skimmed it so there’s probably other scary, damaging stuff I haven’t mentioned.

      That’s not to say that North Korea definitely did it; there’s good reason to be skeptical (even if that Marc Rogers piece that’s been widely passed around in this context is really weak).

      And there is a second-order conspiracy theory that is mildly plausible: where the attack was real, but Sony encouraged (or began in the first place) the rumors that it was North Korea retaliating for The Interview to make something good out of a bad situation. There’s no solid evidence to back this up and there are other scenarios that I find more likely, but at least it’s not retarded.

      *IIRC, some of the info was for former Sony employees; i.e., people not afraid of losing their jobs by taking action. If the NK storyline holds up, Sony might be able to use the “terrorist defense”, I dunno, but that won’t be before they’ve spent a lot on lawyers (or simply settled).

    2. **The wiping part is well-known at this point; hitting some backups could have been confirmed somewhere but I have read it in “according to my friend who works in Sony IT” type comments. Ditto the trouble conducting business.

    3. Don’t forget the terrorist threats. Or the fact that it is in far fewer theatres than before the hacking.

    4. You’re assuming that everything in the news reports actually happened.

      I’m thinking wag-the-dog myself.

      But being serious, the most realistic scenario is that the film and script were a joint venture between the state department and Sony, but the hacking really was N. Korea.

      1. You’re assuming that everything in the news reports actually happened.

        Um, I’m assuming that the information that is publicly available on the internet is in fact publicly available on the internet. Because it is.

        I disclaimed all the “happening” portions except for the fact that some wiping went on. OK, maybe it didn’t; the higher-ups, PR people, and rank-and-file employees at Sony are all making it up and still managing to keep their stories straight.

        It is still, just on the basis of the information that is, again, publicly available on the internet, a fucking retarded theory that Sony “hacked itself”.

        But being serious, the most realistic scenario is that the film and script were a joint venture between the state department and Sony, but the hacking really was N. Korea.

        That is the “most realistic”? Seriously? There is plenty of reason to be skeptical of the second half (best Korea being behind the hacking), much less the conjunction of the two. Your scenario is imaginable, but “most realistic” is insane.

        1. Have there been any actual Sony employees who have said that their SSN and/or medical records were disclosed?

          1. Why would any of them want to do that?

        2. Ok, fine, there are like 8 lawsuits by former employees, so I am convinced that the hacking wasn’t faked.

          It just seems like, if your objective is to stop people from seeing a movie, creating an international scandal that makes sure that absolutely everyone hears about it’s existence is a really terrible way to go about doing that.

          This whole thing pretty much guarentees that the movie will get leaked into North Korea.

      2. You’re assuming that everything in the news reports actually happened.

        So the film wasn’t pulled from release only to be put in limited release? Care to show proof?

        And putting the film in limited release instead of a wide release is the exact of trying to use the hacking controversy to make money. Not to mention the whole threaten terrorist attacks.

        1. No I mean, maybe that stuff about social security numbers and medical records being disclosed is fake.
          They could be fake SSNs and fake medical records.

          But actually, to be serious, I think the hacking is probably real.

  16. OK, I just watched it. Not bad, not great. My major complaints:

    – James Franco needed to dial it down. A lot. A more Leslie Nielsen-ish take on the character would have been funnier.

    – It had way too much death and gore for a comedy. Again, the Abrahams/Abrahams/Zucker films handled this sort of thing better. E.g. Top Secret!

    – Like most movies these days, it felt too long. Either tighten it up or add more jokes.

    – Again like most movies these days, the art direction and end credits were very good.

    – Nitpicky error: early on, there’s a depiction of the path of a missile going from North Korea to the US. It’s shown traveling parallel to a latitude, instead of a great circle route which a missile on that path would actually use.

    1. – Nitpicky error:

      I’m a freak who, when watching movies on TCM, will start calculating dates in the past to see if they got the day of the week correct.

      I’ve also been known to try to figure out how many stars are on flags in westerns to see if they get that right.

      1. You should read the Goofs section for A Christmas Story on IMDB: people going into incredible detail about the precise dates of radio programs and sponsors, etc.

    2. Dude, seriously!? You are critiquing a Seth Rogan flick? Have a drink — in fact, make it a double.

      1. I critique everything. EVERYTHING.

  17. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ru…..rstandable

    So I guess Raimondo, Rockwell and Richman will be toeing the Moscow line?

  18. So what do people think of the Imitation Game and Selma? Are they good because they have the right messages or not?

  19. Saw “The Hobbit 3” the other day. Too long. More action than the first two. I need to re-read the book. Will not watch the movies again.

    Not seeing this one, since I didn’t plan to orig cause I never see ANY Rogan or Franco movies (much less one with both of them in it). I had offered Sony to show it at my house, but now that they’ve gone a diff direction, fuck ’em.

  20. James Franco delivers the absolute worst performance of the year. I have no idea what he was thinking when he came up with it because every time he’s onscreen it’s like fingernails across a chalkboard.

    I did my patriotic duty and watched it but it took me hours since I had to repeatedly pause to take a break.

    1. That’s Franco in most films I see with him in them. He was the worst actor in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. Couldn’t buy him as any kind of scientist. No range…he’s basically the same character in every role I’ve seen.

  21. Just watched this unspeakably awful piece of crap. But hey, I made a statement, worth 6 bucks, paid directly to Sony. I’ve definitely been honeydicked.

  22. Just watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Entertaining.

    1. Best film of the year, IMO…certainly the most enjoyable.

    2. I finally saw it last week. Expected it to be stupid, ended up loving it. I generally have no interest in new movies, so that’s exceptionally high praise from me.

  23. Having seen the film, I half suspect that the entire thing is an elaborate CIA psy-ops operation. A lot of it seems to be aimed at a North Korean audience, when the intent of subverting the regime. At times it even seems intended to psych out Kim Jong Un himself.

    It’s even possible that the hacking is part of the operation. Either performed by the CIA or a wag-the-dog type propaganda ploy to make sure that The Interview gets distributed as widely as possible inside N. Korea.

    1. “a wag-the-dog type propaganda ploy to make sure that The Interview gets distributed as widely as possible inside N. Korea

      You might just be on to something. Ingenious.

      STAGE A1 of Elaborate Plot = Distribute semi-funny anti-Kim-Regime film… hoping that DVD copies would leak their way into the otherwise locked-off hermit kingdom…

      STEP 2 in OPERATION INSIDIOUS BRILLIANCE!?? = Find some way to then distribute millions of DVD players to a nation where travel is strictly prohibited….

      STEP 3 in MISSION: “UN”-(pronounced “oon”)-DERMINE-THA-REGIME! = Build the Currently NON-EXISTENT Electricity Infrastructure to enable playback on their recently smuggled-in DVD players…



      hold on a second. I suspect there may be a slight hitch in this plan.

      Seth Rogan. You’d have to make him funny. And frankly, that seems a little bit too much to ask.

      1. Will you fuckers please stop transposing the last names of two comedians, in this case, Seth ROGEN with Joe ROGAN, who is actually entertaining.

      2. If the French find Jerry Lewis funny, can’t they find Seth Rogen funny too?

        1. Can the French find their ass with a map and both hands?
          The jury is out…

      3. North Koreas actually do have DVD players.

        http://newfocusintl.com/north-…..ted-items/

        1. But I liked the comments:
          “Shouldn’t #1 have really been “Plane tickets to anywhere but the DPRK”? :/”

    2. Either performed by the CIA or a wag-the-dog type propaganda ploy to make sure that The Interview gets distributed as widely as possible inside N. Korea.

      Why? The subject matter and the regime’s condemnation of the film is enough for that. It’s not like the hacking is being reported in North Korea.

    3. An intriguing theory. The only flaw is that the CIA is, in fact, incompetent.

      1. That’s what they want you to think.

  24. The Movie SUCKED !!

  25. Those of you dismissing the conspiracy theory are missing a key element. Nobody is suggesting that the hack itself was planned. That was very much real, extremely damaging to Sony and that cunt Amy Pascal, and almost likely carried out by a disgruntled Sony employee who honestly wanted to damage the company.

    The conspiracy theory does not doubt any of that. The conspiracy theory merely asserts that once the hack happened, somebody in Sony Entertainment saw the opportunity to at least take a few of those lemons and make lemonade. Sony had this bomb waiting to happen* and figured, “hey, maybe we can use this hack to get some free publicity for our movie”. So they pushed the NK is behind the attack angle and had somebody release a message posing as the hackers and claiming “The Interview” was the cause of the hack. That really isn’t that far fetched considering the fact “The Interview” was never mentioned in any of the hackers original communications and the one communication that did mention “The Interview” was sent via a different channel than any of earlier messages.

    *and this is a horrid film. For those that haven’t seen it yet, picture “Pineapple Express” except devoid of all the humor.

    1. You are forgetting the whole “threaten terrorist attacks” and “pull the film from release” only to put the film in limited release which are the exact opposite of what a studio would do with a movie they want to be profitable.

    2. Nobody is suggesting that the hack itself was planned.

      Actually, plenty of people are.

      The conspiracy theory merely asserts that once the hack happened, somebody in Sony Entertainment saw the opportunity to at least take a few of those lemons and make lemonade.

      I am among “Those of you dismissing the conspiracy theory” and supposedly “missing a key element”.

      …and I specifically mentioned what you just laid out, and called it plausible, albeit not the most likely scenario.

      the one communication that did mention “The Interview” was sent via a different channel than any of earlier messages.

      While the theory that Sony encouraged the rumors is plausible, the idea that they were behind the threat on theaters is not.

      1. You have the facts wrong. The communications channel for said threat was Pastebin. You know what the communication channel aggregating the links to the first data dump was? Oh, yeah… Pastebin.

      2. Sony has a vital business relationship with the theaters you propose it to be threatening.

      3. The Pastebin containing the threats had new leaks (SPE’s CEO’s emails).

      4. Making terroristic threats, is kind of, um, criminal. Not to mention a job-killer.

      1. So no, even assuming facts not in evidence (that Sony execs were sure it would bomb, and that they were sure not releasing it in theaters would make more money [it’s not as if they wouldn’t have expected the major chains to pull out]), that doesn’t make any fucking sense.

        I don’t know if you’re fat or drunk, but you are stupid.

    3. “FatDrunkAndStupid|12.25.14 @ 11:32PM|#

      Those of you dismissing the conspiracy theory are missing a key element.”

      The frontal labotomy?

  26. Paying $5.99 to stream a BRAND NEW movie to watch it inside the comfort of one’s home (while munching on popcorn you got at Walmart for 3 bucks) will be really tempting to a lot of people.

    Steven Soderbergh experimented with the delivery system with one of his indie film, but this is (as far as I know) the first time a major release was made available in other mediums as it opened in theaters. Hopefully, this will become a trend.

  27. I don’t know if North Korea is behind the attacks, but Sony isn’t for the reasons (Drink!) myself and Carl have described. Also the hackers call themselves the Guardians of the Peace. Supposedly that phrase is a reference to something Nixon said about North Korea. More importantly the name itself implies some sort of anti-American agenda so it looks to me that if the hackers themselves weren’t North Korean then they wanted people to think so.

    I also doubt that the CIA is behind it since what purpose will it serve? War with North Korea? Push through some internet legislation? Seems a bit weak tea for those.

    1. I also doubt that the CIA is behind it since what purpose will it serve? War with North Korea?

      A) Makes the North Koreans look like idiots.
      B) Gets the film into the hands of North Korean people, through activist back channels.
      C) Thereby subverts the North Korean regime.

      As I said before, I only had this idea AFTER seeing the film, and coming to the conclusion that it was written for a North Korean audience, with the intent of undermining the North Korean government. That’s why they are so afraid of it.

      1. D) PROFIT!!

        really i think you’re going to have a problem with everything but A), which doesn’t actually need a shitty B-movie to begin with.

      2. Gets the film into the hands of North Korean people, through activist back channels.

        And what would this accomplish?

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    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  29. I have faith …that…my mother in law woz like realy bringing home money part-time on their laptop. . there great aunt had bean doing this for under twenty one months and by now repaid the depts on there apartment and got a brand new Lexus LS400 .
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  30. Those of you who think our government were behind this should watch the film. One of the key points is how the US always dicks things up by trying to fix them. No one in our government is self-aware enough to push a movie where the hero sums up the continued failure of our foreign policy with a “When will you Americans learn?” speech.

  31. They should add a few lines to Kim in the movie. Maybe have him say “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest,” or is that too crazy?

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