Sony Pictures made news several times during the past few days as it succumbed to cyber threats and pulled its new movie, "The Interview," just days before its intended release on Christmas Day - and then changing its corporate mind in response to a bit of public outrage and some domestic political posturing - and ultimately offering the film for viewing in theaters. Apparently the national theatre chains still declined to show it due to the threats against their facilities and customers, but some of the independent theatres accepted the challenge and told those commie North Koreans to bring it on!
So "The Interview" did open on Christmas Day - but instead of thousands of screens, it was only seen on a few hundred screens. Unbelievably, one of those was a local movie house here in West Plains, Missouri!
I decided early on Christmas Day to take in an afternoon movie. When I checked the internet to see what was playing locally, I saw the advertisement for "The Interview." Knowing chances were an absolute zero that our tiny six-plex would score such a talked-about movie, I figured that the ad must have run before Sony pulled the plug on showing the film, and that the ad was obviously out of date. Then, while I was in town for my morning iced tea, I saw a copy of our local newspaper, The Daily Quill, and noted a front page story declaring that "The Interview" was indeed opening in West Plains that very afternoon.
And so, off to the show I go.
An older gentleman tore my ticket as I prepared to enter the theatre, and he gave me a mini-souvenir movie poster to commemorate the event. As I accepted the poster, he said proudly, "They ain't gonna push us around!" It was a very red, white, and blue moment as a little local theatre shook its fist at North Korea - and made a tidy profit in the process.
There were about forty people at the afternoon showing - not bad for these parts. I expected to see a good many tattooed and overweight white men belching their anger about Kenyan and Korean commies, but instead the crowd was mostly young people who would have probably come to see the Seth Rogen - James Franco comedy whether it had been mired in controversy or not. Indeed, some of the young people in attendance may have not been aware of the international politics swirling around the film's release.
"The Interview" is about an American entertainment television journalist (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who score an invitation to go to North Korea to interview its leader, Kim Jung-un. The CIA elbows it way in on the invitation with a request that the pair help our government kill the North Korean leader. The pair inexplicably agrees to the CIA request, but it true Franco-Rogen style, they manage to screw up the assassination six ways from Sunday.
It is a very funny film, but one that is unlikely to tickle the funny bone of conservative audiences. Those who rush to see it in theaters just as a way of sticking their thumb in North Korea's eye, may be too embarrassed to sit through the whole thing. The films contains druggie humor, a constant stream of bad language, and a thick overlay of gay innuendo. The Fox News crew probably would not enjoy it - no matter how much they hate North Korea, and by the second time James Franco kisses a man in this movie, Ted Nugent would be reaching for his howitzer.
As in other Franco-Rogen films, there are some very funny cameos in this movie including Eminem coming out as being gay, Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing with a bunch of puppies, and Rob Lowe revealing and discussing his baldness.
It's easy to see why the government of North Korea is not happy with "The Interview." The film portrays their Supreme Leader, King Jong-un as a temperamental and weepy young man who has daddy issues, likes to drink margaritas with little umbrellas, and is a closeted fan of Katy Perry. Sadly for the North Koreans, though, they have a very limited understanding of unfettered capitalism. Their rage and bluster toward this movie is going to wind up making money for a lot of people - and people who normally would not have given a rip about seeing it are now lined up and waiting to enter the theaters.
American audiences won't let those danged commies tell them what we can and cannot see! We'll throw our money away however we damned well please! They ain't gonna push us around!