Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shouting Fire In A Crowded Movie HouseEv

I wasn't probably going to rush out to my local cinema to catch a screening of "The Interview." On the big list of Christmas movies, it was down the list a bit from some of the bigger titles, but if my son had insisted, we might have found our way to a matinee. Or maybe he wouldn't have had to insist. My family is one that tends to delight in the silly and profane, both elements that were advertised to be found in the new Seth Rogen, James Franco vehicle: Two self-absorbed TV journalists are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Daniel Craig and Matt Damon for a cast could have brought a different flavor to the proceedings, but the boys who brought you the "Pineapple Express" probably weren't after terse political subterfuge. No superspies here. Just a lot of good old fashioned American pot jokes and flatulence.
Of course, now I'll never know, will I? Sony Pictures has decided not to release this feel-good romp because of some nonsense about bombing theaters and "9/11 style attacks" as a reprisal for this naughtiness. Difficult to imagine here, from these shores, where our president is heckled, ignored and vilified by his less-than-adoring public. Sometimes by members of his own party. In North Korea, however, the previously mentioned Kim Jong-un is referred to as The Supreme Leader, and is regularly referred to as "a great person born of heaven." A couple of Hollywood punks want to make a lighthearted caper about killing this semi-major demigod would probably be looked upon as heresy.
That's probably what got the powers that be in our government thinking that maybe it was North Korean hackers who busted into Sony Pictures network and wreaked havoc with all those ones and zeroes. Cyberattack sounds pretty scary, and since so much of Sony Pictures sits around inside of computers in neatly stacked ones and zeroes. Digital terrorism turns out to be a pretty nasty business. Especially for businesses. In this particular case, the forty-two million dollars that paid for Mister Rogen and Mister Franco to create this fine mess will be counted as a loss, causing Sony stock to dip five percent. Which may seem like no big deal until you start to do the actual math: five percent of Sony. Ouch. That's going to leave a mark.
Not like a bomb crater or actual physical casualties, but a mark. Every time a bad movie is yanked from distribution, the terrorists win. I that necessarily a bad thing?

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