The Interview Movie: Giving the Finger to Kim Jong-un

kim-jong-un-the-interviewI will be very honest here, I adore Seth Rogen and James Franco as a team and in The Interview movie, where they give the finger, or more accurately a tank round, to Kim Jong-un these two prove yet again, just how good they are together. Long introductory sentences aside, the point about the film is this, a feature does not have to be high art to be popular, period. Yet we have a score of “film critics” who are now pontificating about the merits, and lack thereof, of the film and its plot, characters, etc, etc, etc…

Does anyone really care? I know that for the last year (Its not really that long but I’m too lazy to work out the exact time period.) I’ve been an illustrious member of the Nevada Film Critics Society. I can hear you in the back, “Well look at you!” It is not that impressive, to explain let’s just say that the average cinema goer dislikes the fact that the press get their own roped off section in the theatre and leave it at that. Still it is a great, non paying gig, and I’ve met some great folks who have opinions about films.

Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to speak to any of them about the film so let us talk, for a very, very short time, about the movie The Interview, which does indeed give Kim Jong-un the metaphorical finger, or two fingers if you are British. First of all, it should be pointed out that Sony and Rogen have hit ironic gold with this film. Secondly, it should be pointed out that even with out the North Korean threats and cyber terrorism, the film would have run “mad crazy” at the box office.

Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview

It is a great film. (I’ve watched it no less than four times since purchasing it.) I adore it. It is a brilliant combination of clunky humor intermixed with black comedy merged with all the signature references that people have come to expect from a Rogen film. Think Pineapple Express and This is the End here.

Even parts of the film not related to North Korea are funny. The scene where Eminem declares, no less than four times, that he is gay is hysterically funny. The dead pan delivery sells the humor here and it leaves the viewer wondering just how many takes that one took to “get it in the can.”

The film is full of such short punchy comedy. James Franco, waking from an epic ecstasy and booze filled party, shouting about his “stink-d*ck” while the CIA listen in for example. Even the longer bits are funny, the scene with the tiger had me in stitches, not to mention reaching for the rewind button the second it finished. The entire scene with the rocket is worth the price of admission, or not admission if you watch it online.

This was, quite possibly, the best Christmas gift ever. Brilliantly funny, not intellectually so, but, repeat after me children, “film does not have be high art to be entertaining.” The Interview movie is not just giving the metaphorical finger to Kim Jong-un, it is telling the world that Rogen and Franco as a team are unbeatable. The film can be rented or purchased online from a few outlets, do not look for it on Amazon or iTunes however as they lacked the cojones to stream this film.

At around $6 to rent, or $16.99 to purchase, The Interview is worth a look. If you are fans of Rogen to begin with and even if you are not, take a look to see what got Kim Jong-un’s knickers in a twist. This is a real 5 out of 5 star film here, it pretty much hits all the cylinders square on.

Kim Jong-un in The Interview

Michael Smith

The Interview: Taken Out of Terrorist Oblivion…And It Is Funny

Still of Rogen and Franco in The Interview

The Interview has been taken out of terrorist oblivion and is now streaming for your viewing enjoyment. Sony decided to take the extra step of having the film available on Xbox, Google Play, YouTube and the Sony website. Apple declined to show the film via iTunes, presumably still smarting from the “iCloud” hack earlier this year. Amazon also decided to keep the film off their site, obviously wary of any cyber terrorist activity that could cost the company in terms of non cinematic sales.

President Obama is, according to reports, very happy that Seth Rogen and “James Flacco” are able to show off their darkly comic assassination of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un at last. Fortunately for both Sony, Columbia, Rogen, and the rest, the film is brilliantly funny.

The feature is a blend of slapstick, almost, and silly comedy.  Think Pineapple Express mixed with Neighbors with a touch of This is the End and you will get close to the type of humor on offer. Of course the film does veer off and go beyond blackly comic, wait till the scene with the helicopter and the tank comes on, or even Rogen’s character providing the filling for some finger sandwiches.

For fans of these two actors, there was never any real doubt that the combination of the script and the two performers would not deliver comic ganja dude! How can viewers not find the Matthew McConaughey “f***ing a goat” scene  hysterically funny? That entire sequence was stupidly comic and then the film heads into the sublime when Rogen’s character, Rapaport meets the North Korean representative “Sook” and after arranging the interview and the chopper takes off,  Rogen begs for some water.  “I did not plan well for this trip ,” he screams before a tiny bottle of water is tossed from the helicopter to land at his feet.

The movie, deals with the entertainment industry and its red headed step children, talk shows. Rogen’s character is the “serious journo”  and the producer of Dave Skylark’s (Franco) show. The two men set up the interview with Kim Jong-un and part of the magic of this film is the sneering reaction from other “serious” television journalists.  Played by the real people, like Bill Maher, for instance.

While The Interview is delightfully funny, its humor has been overshadowed somewhat by the cyber terrorists who threatened so much violence toward cinemas and their customers that AMC, Regal and Cinemark, amongst others, cancelled their showings and Sony initially panicked with the result that they shelved the picture, “indefinitely.”

After getting the old “tsk, tsk” from the president of the USA, and a generous and brave offer from the art house cinemas of America, Sony changed their mind. So some lucky people will see the movie in the theatre and others, like myself, will watch it via the Internet (in this case from Google Play).

Perhaps the only complaint is that the music feels a little close, in some instances, to the soundtrack used by Kim Jee-woon’s The Good, the Bad, the Weird.  Even the shootout sequence later in the movie has music that feels like it was lifted from that 2008 film. Perhaps it was and Goldberg and Rogen meant it as a sort of homage. This little complaint does not spoil the film, as the music does fit very well.

How good is the film? Well let’s just say that I loved it so much that after paying out a hard earned $5.99 (repeatedly watching it till my laptop crashed – Is that you Kim?) that I then turned around and bought the film for $16.99, without special features that I am so addicted to. That’s how good it is. But don’t take my word for it, watch it and see what you think.

By Michael Smith

 

 

Sony Hack: The Interview and Terrorist Film Critics

Sony Hack: The Interview and Terrorist Film Critics

The latest news on the Sony hack reveals that on top of the world learning of just what the film industry thinks of “the talent” this new age of computer chaos has created terrorist film critics who really do not like The Interview. While this may sound the least bit trite, it is not meant to downplay the viciousness that has been displayed, or attempt at Internet terrorism being perpetrated by the GOP (Guardians of Peace). The GOP claims, through a very unveiled threat, that they will attack cinemas that dare to show the Seth Rogen and James Franco “unfunny” comedy.

Thanksgiving: Movies to Watch at the Cinema

Thanksgiving: Movies to Watch at the Cinema

For those who are ready to push away from a groaning Thanksgiving table, having eaten their fill and given thanks, there are four new films to choose from for families to watch at the cinema. Comedy rules the turkey day weekend with two very funny offerings. Out of the comedic films, one is for kids, big and little, and the other is of the more grown up variety; lastly there is one of the best romance stories of modern times and a historical drama that will make one think.

The Hunger Games Being Turned Into Stage Show

The Hunger Games Being Turned Into Stage Show

The biggest news to hit the Internet across the pond in the United Kingdom is that The Hunger Games is being turned into a stage show. According to the BBC the show will be ready to “tread the boards” in 2016. It has been reported that the blockbuster film is being adapted for a live show and that a purpose built theatre is being built in the nation’s capital, London for those who are geographically challenged, right beside Wembley Stadium.