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’ Coming to a Theatre Near You…Maybe

‘The Interview’ Coming to a Theatre Near You…Maybe

The latest news in the world of cyber terrorism is that Sony, with the aid of a few non chain type theatres, are thumbing their noses at North Korea and airing The Interview, which should be coming to a cinema near you…maybe. It should not be forgotten that Sony Entertainment held out till the very last moment to cave under the terror attack against their company. Foolishly allowing theatre chains the option of not showing the Seth Rogen and James Franco political comedy after the threats of 9/11 type violence were made against film lovers who attended the Christmas Day open. Now, the corporation are allow the art house theatres to show the film, unlike their initial reaction to the terrorist’s promise of destruction.

Sony Hack: The Interview Cancelled After Enforced North Korean Censorship

Sony Hack: The Interview Cancelled After Enforced North Korean Censorship

The Sony hack has disrupted the apple cart and destroyed the status quo of not only Hollywood, but every large cinema distribution chain in America, Variety reports that Sony Pictures have cancelled The Interview after enforced Internet terrorist censorship from North Korea. It should be pointed out that Kim Jong-un and the North Korean government have steadfastly denied that they are responsible for the Sony corporation hack or the threats of 9/11 type death and destruction if the film aired on Christmas Day, 2014.

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.

Missing (Sil jong) 2009: Grinding Gore

This South Korean horror/thriller film is based on true events. Between August and September in 2007 a 70-year-old fisherman murdered four women in Bosung South Korea. Notes from the entry of the film in AsianWiki state that the events have been fictionalized.

Directed by Sung-Hong Kim (Say Yes 2001) and starring Moon Sung-Geun, Choo Ja-Hyun and Jeon Se-Hong it tells the story of two young sisters who have the misfortune to cross paths with an old sociopath living alone with his disabled mother.

The old sociopath Pan-Gon (Moon) sporadically runs a chicken soup cafe on the outskirts of town. He is considered a sort of village idiot, harmless enough, whose wife left him years ago. He is an object of scorn from the men in the village who are jealous of the fact that his land is worth a fortune.

The first sister to meet Pan-Gon is Hyeon-A (Jeon) who is travelling with a producer who is going to cast her in his film. They see the sign advertising chicken soup and stop for lunch. While waiting for the soup Hyeon-A goes to call her sister Hyeon-Jeong (Choo) on her mobile (cell) phone. Sis is a bit of a worrier and tends to keep close tabs on her sister. While the two girls are talking on the mobile phone, Pan-Gon approaches the producer and asks if he will help him to move some bags of grain.

Explaining that he is old and has a bad back, Pan-Gon says he will give the couple a discount on their meal, if the producer will help him out. Slightly dubious and thinking that the old man is kidding him, the producer starts lifting bags of grain. In mid-lift, Pan-Gon takes a piece of piano wire and tries to strangle him. The wire breaks and the producer starts weaving to the door with blood dripping from his mouth and throat.

Hyeon-A comes up just as the old man buries a shovel into the producer’s head killing him. Panic stricken, she cannot move. Behind her is a dog that she is clearly terrified of and in front of her is the murderous Pan-Gon. Frozen in place, Pan-Gon shoves a rag over her mouth and she passes out.

She awakens in a dog cage in a room that has a bed, a couple of lights, and a sink. Pan-Gon comes in and tells her he won’t harm her.

This is the beginning of his systematic torture and rape of the helpless girl. Meanwhile the sister, Hyeon-Jeong is trying to track down her missing sister with little to no help from the local police.

This film was quite unpleasant to watch at first. The torture and the raping of the first sister was disturbing and hard to watch. The director did not show too much but it was still uncomfortable viewing. The other reaction that this part of the film evoked was one of anger at the lack of fight that the girl had. She might as well have had a tattoo on her forehead that said “victim.” The scenes did show just how unhinged Pan-Gon is and how far he will go to maintain absolute control over his victim.

When her sister Hyeon-Jeong comes looking for her you feel a sense of admiration  as she gets almost no help from the local police; despite this she refuses to give up. The police chief flatly refuses to help until she provides some sort of “hard evidence” that justifies his involvement. His assistant takes a shine to Hyeon-Jeong and gives her his card saying that she should call him if she needs any help or gets into any trouble.

Tag! You're dead!
Tag! You’re dead!

I first watched this film about eight months ago and gave up three quarters of the way through. I became frustrated at the lack of interest exhibited by the local police and did not really care for any of the local characters. It is almost as if the director decided to make a South Korean equivalent to the inbred hicks that inhabited the rural south in the film Deliverance. All that was missing from the murderous villain of the piece was the slobbery drawl of “You got a purty mouth.”

But impatience and annoyance aside, the film did actually pick up in the last quarter and became more interesting. But only because the last of the film becomes a cat and mouse game with bloody action and deadly consequences; and oddly enough that was what really let the film down. Despite being touted as being “based on true events” the film devolved into standard slasher fare, albeit with a bit of white knuckle action between the “hero” and the “villain.”

As much as I adore South Korea’s cinematic offerings, this was one film that did not fall into the category of brilliance that I’ve come to expect from the auteur directors who enthral their audiences. Interestingly enough, I did not care much for Say Yes either. The film was very similar to this one in that a lot of the gore and sadistic butchery seemed to lower the film from thriller status to what my daughter says is “torture porn.”

The fact that I had to try twice to watch the film from start to finish says a lot about the quality of entertainment that it offers. In essence, I would not recommend anyone rush to see it. It might be worth a watch is there really is nothing else on the telly and all the other films on Netflix have been watched already. Missing is a definite 2 star film that only gets the second star because of the fighting spirit shown by the second sister.

Now if the director would only stop moving!