Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Sony's "The Interview"


Mac_the_Nice
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just finished watching the trailer. I am no prude--far from it, but that thing is gross, and so abysmally crass, that I can't help thinking Kim Jong Un has done American movie culture a big favor. That such a thing should have been scheduled for release on Christmas Day? Why it's almost enough to make you think Mighty Joe Jong Un, like the Blues Brothers, is "on a mission from God" and Santa Claus. 

There was a time when this manner of flap could never have occurred because of a culture of ethics that permeated the arts and the legal environment: When Charlie Chaplin wrote and filmed the Great Dictator, not once did the name "Hitler" occur in the scenario. When Harold Robbins wrote "The Carpetbaggers" everybody knew it was a thinly veiled fictional bio on Howard Hughes, though his name never appeared on the page, nor from the screen. You wanted to be careful about messing with Howard Hughes. He was crazy enough to do something about it. People just had better sense than to screw around in a fictional context with the names of real people, and real powerful people. 

Whether it's because you could get sued for it, or simply because writers and filmmakers feared taking a bullet in the head for it, or simply because they had better taste than to think of it, who's to say? It was a stupid, gauche choice for Sony to make, and had they an ounce of sense ruling decisions in the boardroom they should have anticipated just such a response, surely they should have known better than to try picking on a guy like that. Good God! How stupid can anyone get?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First Mac, just wanna say here that the humor of Seth Rogen's "dude, I'm soooo high, hee hee hee" shtick eludes me. But then again, I DO know that I'm not his targeted demographic.

 

And secondly, and regarding your point about, "People(back in the day) just had better sense than to screw around in a fictional context with the names of real people, and real powerful people"...well then, I suppose a certain filmmaker who once made a certain seminal movie about the search of what the meaning behind the last word spoken by the title character before he croaked was, would be "the exception that proves your rule" here, right?! ;)

 

(...'cause I'm pretty sure Orson had "sense" enough to understand he wasn't going to get a lot of good press in any of the Hearst-owned publications as the cameras first started rolling on THAT set)   

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First Mac, just wanna say here that the humor of Seth Rogen's "dude, I'm soooo high, hee hee hee" shtick eludes me. But then again, I DO know that I'm not his targeted demographic.

 

And secondly, and regarding your point about, "People(back in the day) just had better sense than to screw around in a fictional context with the names of real people, and real powerful people"...well then, I suppose a certain filmmaker who once made a certain seminal movie about the search of what the meaning behind the last word spoken by the title character before he croaked was, would be "the exception that proves your rule" here, right?! ;)

 

(...'cause I'm pretty sure Orson had "sense" enough to understand he wasn't going to get a lot of good press in any of the Hearst-owned publications as the cameras first started rolling on THAT set)   

 

Right, Dargo.  Good you should have mentioned Citizen Kane in this context.  And you know, in some ways Orson Welles can seem to bear a striking resemblance to the Harry Lime character he played in The Third Man,  considering the disastrous consequences--not just for himself vis a vis the power of Wm. Randolf Hearst--but for others such as came of his War of the Worlds broadcast. He was a man known for not always employing the best of ethical circumspection and prudence in making his choices. All the more reason for seeing those calling the shots at Sony for a real pack of idiots. Not that I would deny anyone the right to be an idiot in a free society, seeing how often I take advantage of that good old fashioned American liberty for myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, Dargo.  Good you should have mentioned Citizen Kane in this context.  And you know, in some ways Orson Welles can seem to bear a striking resemblance to the Harry Lime character he played in The Third Man,  considering the disastrous consequences--not just for himself vis a vis the power of Wm. Randolf Hearst--but for others such as came of his War of the Worlds broadcast. He was a man known for not always employing the best of ethical circumspection and prudence in making his choices. All the more reason for seeing those calling the shots at Sony for a real pack of idiots. Not that I would deny anyone the right to be an idiot in a free society, seeing how often I take advantage of that good old fashioned American liberty for myself.

 

LOL

 

OH! You too, EH?!

 

Yep, in THIS regard, I too must confess I also often act as a "good ol' 'Merican" and by confusing the concept of "freedom" with the idea that a "lack in good judgement" somehow equates to the same thing.

 

(...but NEVER to the degree that I'm dumb enough to equate not donning a helmet while riding one of my Triumph motorcycles somehow signifies to others my sense of "freedom", and UNLIKE many of the Harley riders I see riding around around here in Arizona with only their stupid little doo-rags on their heads and who somehow erroneously equate these two concepts of "Freedom" and being really DUMB together!!!) LOL

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw Mac, seein' as how you brought up the topic of Orson's little "Halloween Gift of 1938 to America" here in service to make your point about "good sense"....

Right, Dargo.  Good you should have mentioned Citizen Kane in this context.  And you know, in some ways Orson Welles can seem to bear a striking resemblance to the Harry Lime character he played in The Third Man,  considering the disastrous consequences--not just for himself vis a vis the power of Wm. Randolf Hearst--but for others such as came of his War of the Worlds broadcast. He was a man known for not always employing the best of ethical circumspection and prudence in making his choices. All the more reason for seeing those calling the shots at Sony for a real pack of idiots.

 

...my thoughts regarding THAT would be that at least in this country, or at least at the time anyway perhaps, the idea that somebody doesn't have to "play down to the mass audience" and to THEIR "lack good sense" in NOT realizing that his broadcast WAS just a dramatization of a famous book and NOT a real news broadcast, AND the idea that he DIDN'T have to seek some bureaucratic approval beforehand, might say VOLUMES about how a "free society" CAN work to raise the level of art to heights which might often be suppressed in those societies which call for pre-approval by some aforementioned bureaucratic entity.

 

(...and so, my point being that I question your use of Welles' "World of The Worlds" radio broadcast to make what appears to be your point about "good sense" here) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(...and so, my point being that I question your use of Welles' "World of The Worlds" radio broadcast to make what appears to be your point about "good sense" here) 

Well, that's just fine, Dargo. It's a free country and you are at liberty to question anything you like, just as am I, in holding steadfast to my opinion that Orson's broadcast was indicative of a decided 'Harry Lime' style of arrogance on his part, which was in part, as some see it, no less than venal, a cheap stunt coldly calculated to grab audience share away from his far higher rated radio competitor, the Chase and Sanborn Hour, whose broadcasts aired during the same time slot. Though we find many a writer in this day seeking to downplay or downright repudiate the then widely reported effects of a panic, others still stand by the reports contemporaneous to the event, making no excuses for what they see as Orson's thoughtless, if not disastrous mischief. Of which one may read here:

 

http://history1900s.about.com/od/1930s/a/warofworlds_2.htm

 

When we of a free society have seen fit--and rightly so--to ban the censors, the stewardship for the maintenance of ethics and good practice devolves upon the artists themselves and the distributors of their art.  When they fall down on the job as was done at Sony (if not at CBS for the Mercury Theater) surprise, surprise!  Chaos can (or almost inevitably will) ensue. And that's what we've got right now, beaucoups of the messy stuff, thanks to Seth Rogan's perfectly stupid, reprehensibly rotten bad taste, and Sony's penchant for seeing no 'bottom line' other than a profit margin got from little investment and much, noisy ballyhoo. So, I still hate the fact that these clueless toads at Sony thought to release this utter garbage on Christmas Day. Do they really hate Santa Claus that much, just because his sleigh was not "made in Japan" by Mitsubishi?

--

Harry Lime: Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don't. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs - it's the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.
 
Holly Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?
 
Harry Lime: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.
 
[and . . .]
 
Harry Lime: Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL

 

OH! You too, EH?!

 

Yep, in THIS regard, I too must confess I also often act as a "good ol' 'Merican" and by confusing the concept of "freedom" with the idea that a "lack in good judgement" somehow equates to the same thing.

 

(...but NEVER to the degree that I'm dumb enough to equate not donning a helmet while riding one of my Triumph motorcycles somehow signifies to others my sense of "freedom", and UNLIKE many of the Harley riders I see riding around around here in Arizona with only their stupid little doo-rags on their heads and who somehow erroneously equate these two concepts of "Freedom" and being really DUMB together!!!) LOL

 

Funny but before reading this post I was going to use the donning of a helmet as an example of why people here don't use that 'view new content' feature.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There was a time when this manner of flap could never have occurred because of a culture of ethics that permeated the arts and the legal environment: When Charlie Chaplin wrote and filmed the Great Dictator, not once did the name "Hitler" occur in the scenario.

 

Times change.....

 

Now Hitler hates Hollywood re-makes......

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBTGT0ghLZQ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Times change.....

 

Now Hitler hates Hollywood re-makes......

Brilliant! Never thought to find myself in complete agreement with Hitler on anything. To this I would say, "Sieg Heil" if I were not afraid of being struck dead by cirrhosis of the liver or terminal psoriasis all of a sudden, or whatever else I might have stood to inherent from my good old Yiddischer Papa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Mac, considering that Carol Reed's "The Third Man" is one of top five favorite films of all time, I am well aware of Orson's "Harry Lime's Cuckoo Clock Soliloquy", however I still think using Lime's rationale for his careless disregard for his fellow man a bit of a stretch to use as an allegory for pressing the point that the making and distribution of "art"(and be it extremely LOW "art" such this Rogen turkey appears to be or any other and possibly "better" art) should be censored because it might either offend someone's sensibilities OR because its distribution might result in people who are unable to process it and place it into its proper perceptive becoming the cause of havoc among the masses.

 

Oh, and also regarding the idea that it's somehow also "doubly wrong" that this film was scheduled for a Christmas Day release, well here's something in the same vein I found somewhat ironic a few weeks back...

 

While at the cinema with my wife and just before the showing of both "The Judge" and "Gone Girl" we went to see, one of the preview trailers shown before each of these films was this:

 

 

Yep, Eastwood's newest movie. And did you happen to notice ITS opening release date? Yep, THAT'S right...Christmas Day.

 

And while it might well be another of Clint's well done movies, my wife and I thought it rather strange and yes "ironic" that a war film would be released on the same day as when many people throughout the world are celebrating the birth of what many people refer to as "The Prince of Peace", and we're both far from considering ourselves "religious". AND from all the gasping and snickering I heard from so many others seated in that movie house after the release date was shown at the end of that trailer, I got me a feelin' my wife and I weren't the only people there to feel that way.

 

And YET, I haven't heard "word one" from ANY media source about THIS possibly being an issue of "bad taste" at all.

 

(...yep, like I said..."ironic" ain't it?!")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Mac, considering that Carol Reed's "The Third Man" is one of top five favorite films of all time, I am well aware of Orson's "Harry Lime's Cuckoo Clock Soliloquy", however I still think using Lime's rationale for his careless disregard for his fellow man a bit of a stretch to use as an allegory for pressing the point that the making and distribution of "art"(and be it extremely LOW "art" such this Rogen turkey appears to be or any other and possibly "better" art) should be censored because . . . 

Censored! Omigod. No. Honestly, Dargo. How you could possibly derive that from my comments I cannot imagine. Suggest you go back to that post and discover what I'm actually saying. That way you save me the onerous drudgery of having to say it all over again. Would you call it "censorship" when a professional script reader in some producer's office at Paramount rejects for 'total crap' some, or many or most of the scripts in the 'slush-pile' she's been assigned to go over at her desk? Is she a "censor"? I speak of nothing other than the kind of artistic, or purely sensible choices that MGM, Warners, Columbia and Fox made back during the studio era when there still were some people with mature, good sense working in motion pictures. Censorship? Bah Humbug!

 

As to the parallel you would draw between this Seth Rogan dreck and a New Clint Eastwood flick for Christmas?  Bah Double Humbug!!

 

And as to Vautrin's views regarding my views on the Mercury Theater broadcast of War of the Worlds being some big stretch to compare it with the current Sony fiasco, adding his denial that there was any notable chaos that came as the result of the former--Bah Triple Humbug!!! As my mother and grandmother both remembered that night, it was just as people saw it at the time, and as it's been remembered to history--a damned fool prank that anyone of better sense would never have thought to pull. But you didn't really think you'd get me to change my views on this, did you? Bah Quadruple Humbug!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

As good old Oscar Wilde wrote, There is no such thing as a moral or

immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

 

 

I couldn't agree more. And in view of what may be seen in the trailer for The Interview, "badly written" is an understatement. As to "knuckling under to a dictator", had the Sony writers and producers knuckled under to the Dictator of Good Sense who ought to be installed in the executive office of every person's head, the knuckling under would have ended right there. The envelope they pushed turned out to be Pandora's Box, and how they could have been so abysmally stupid and tasteless not to anticipate that is hard to imagine. They should have known in advance, fully knowing the corporate climate that is their milieu that knuckling under in the corporate world is part of the job description, that the lot of them would soon be committing Seppuku, as per directive from on high. I've already discussed the banal stupidity of employing real names in a fictional context, especially one that fantasizes the execution of that real powerful, and really dangerous person. Stupid! Tasteless! Just plain ignorant. And low class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Censored! Omigod. No. Honestly, Dargo. How you could possibly derive that from my comments I cannot imagine. Suggest you go back to that post and discover what I'm actually saying. That way you save me the onerous drudgery of having to say it all over again. Would you call it "censorship" when a professional script reader in some producer's office at Paramount rejects for 'total crap' some, or many or most of the scripts in the 'slush-pile' she's been assigned to go over at her desk? Is she a "censor"? I speak of nothing other than the kind of artistic, or purely sensible choices that MGM, Warners, Columbia and Fox made back during the studio era when there still were some people with mature, good sense working in motion pictures. Censorship? Bah Humbug!

 

As to the parallel you would draw between this Seth Rogan dreck and a New Clint Eastwood flick for Christmas?  Bah Double Humbug!!

 

And as to Vautrin's views regarding my views on the Mercury Theater broadcast of War of the Worlds being some big stretch to compare it with the current Sony fiasco, adding his denial that there was any notable chaos that came as the result of the former--Bah Triple Humbug!!! As my mother and grandmother both remembered that night, it was just as people saw it at the time, and as it's been remembered to history--a damned fool prank that anyone of better sense would never have thought to pull. But you didn't really think you'd get me to change my views on this, did you? Bah Quadruple Humbug!!!!

 

Re your "Censorship" reply Mac...Even though you seem to now be framing(or possibly always were) your argument using the concept of "lack of good taste" being the overriding principle as why you apparently think the Sony people were fools to give the green light to this project and not some concept about "censorship", could it not be said that we are STILL discussing the concept of "SELF-censorship" here, and which is still a form of the overall concept?

 

Look, I agree with you that from what I know of this movie it is probably dreck AND probably in "bad taste", however in total your argument still seems to be "people(and movie execs in particular) just don't have good taste anymore like they used to and THIS is what's causing all the fuss", and which is probably true, HOWEVER and once again, this issue HAS now focused upon the concept of an entity(the North Korean government in this case) attempting AND apparently succeeding in stifling the concept of "Free Expression", and it appears to me that your argument still is based more of the idea that "Those idiots at Sony got what they deserved" than it is the OVERALL message this brouhaha has now become..."needlessly" or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re your "Censorship" reply Mac...Even though you seem to now be framing(or possibly always were) your argument using the concept of "lack of good taste" being the overriding principle as why you apparently think the Sony people were fools to give the green light to this project and not some concept about "censorship", could it not be said that we are STILL discussing the concept of "SELF-censorship" here, and which is still a form of the overall concept?

 

Look, I agree with you that from what I know of this movie it is probably dreck AND probably in "bad taste", however in total your argument still seems to be "people(and movie execs in particular) just don't have good taste anymore like they used to and THIS is what's causing all the fuss", and which is probably true, HOWEVER and once again, this issue HAS now focused upon the concept of an entity(the North Korean government in this case) attempting AND apparently succeeding in stifling the concept of "Free Expression", and it appears to me that your argument still is based more of the idea that "Those idiots at Sony got what they deserved" than it is the OVERALL message this brouhaha has now become..."needlessly" or not.

I'm talking about good critical judgment in matters of taste and quality of creative product, and certainly not "self-censorship." This is to speak of what any writer, worthy the name, does constantly while at work. Like in Mel Brooks' Twelve Chairs: "Out with the bad air, in with the good air."
 
If it were possible to ignore (or pooh-pooh as many do) the element of the "9/11-style" terrorist threat against exhibitors, I would regard this entire thing as a tempest in a teacup. Not some huge attack on freedom of speech here in America? No. It's an attack upon a large, multi-billion dollar Japanese corporation with a subsidiary located here in America. Nonetheless, is it really an attack on freedom of expression whether here or elsewhere? Let us suggest rather that it is a counter-attack upon a perceived attack against the person of another country's head of state, and that nation's security--in the implication (fictional or not) that this leader should be assassinated.
 
They take it seriously, what they feel to be an implied lethal threat being fomented or incited by a major Japanese corporation against their leader and their country.  Some here may know the feeling, when some irate dirtbag in a Web forum takes the liberty to imply or state outright how much they might wish for somebody to come along and 'blow a cap' into your head. You are apt to react with a fair amount of shock and then rage, as you may then be moved to report such a thoughtless malefactor for having lodged a threat against you. You would, like as not, retaliate.
 
There are those who say that the philosopher, Socrates would never have been executed, condemned by the citizens' council in Athens had it not been for a certain play of Aristophanes that fantasizes at its conclusion the attack of a mob en route to Socrates' school. That play, "The Clouds" is a comedy in which the character of Socrates is named "Socrates" all the better (or for all the worse) to make of the man a laughing stock, as at last, with at least one tattered shred of good taste, the playwright sees fit to end the final scene before the mob gets there, to the "Thinkery", the domicile of Socrates, his wife, and his school.
 
No matter what we may think of Kim Jong Un in his ways which seem no less bloody and bereft of conscience than a modern day Caligula, nonetheless, his instincts are merely human and so full of pride and insecurities as for the rest of us, when upon being made the object of ridicule or threat of bodily harm, his rage and need for retribution will be no different than our own. That Seth Rogan should not have understood this, forgetting, like Aristophanes, that the object of his satire was/is, after all, human, well that's what I'd call the mark of a really bad writer. Yes, in both cases. Aristophanes was no Aeschylus or Sophocles, not by a long shot.
 
So, what am I really saying?  Not sure just yet, as for now "I'm just saying", as they say, so we'll see. As for now, I do think it was nearly of just such bad taste for President Obama to weigh in on the matter as he did this afternoon: in my view he had his nose poked way too far into Sony's business. And he should have stuck with the narrow part of it which is his business, the matter of that "9/11" style threat.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may very well be poorly written and in bad taste, but I'd have to see the entire film first

to make a judgment about that. And if Hollywood only made films in good taste, they

might be in a heap of trouble revenue-wise. Perhaps it was stupid or naive to make a film

about a real person and not change names and locations (though I'm betting Kim would have

been angry as soon as he realized it was really about him). And a real person who might use

his power to somehow get back at the filmmakers and the studio. I think I would have released

the film and told Kim to go pound sand, but I can understand why Sony took a different tack.

 

I see no 'perhaps' here at all.   It was stupid and naive to make a film about a real person IF, when one gets push back for doing so, their stance is to NOT release the film.    The two points are linked and Sony should have played various 'what if' situations BEFORE deciding to us Kim in the movie.   

 

I find it hard to believe they decided BEFORE putting Kim in the movie:  hey, if we get any threats we will just not release the movie.  To me this lack of planning is the biggest mistake made here (more so then their weak-kneed decision not to release the film).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Mac, IF I'm readin' your argument here correctly..the one you just used that included all those references to all those long dead Greek guys(nice touch, btw)..you're basically saying here that I would be ill-advised to ride up and park my Triumph in front of some biker bar somewhere and THEN walk into the place and yell out somethin' like say, "HEY YOU GUYS! HARLEYS SUCK!!!", and because it "might" not ONLY result in some "hurt feelings" being felt by those already within that establishment, BUT could ALSO "possibly" result in a few "hurts" being placed upon my own physical being, RIGHT?! ;)

 

(...yeah, I guess I can kind'a see your point now)  LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Mac, IF I'm readin' your argument here correctly..the one you just used that included all those references to all those long dead Greek guys(nice touch, btw)..you're basically saying here that I would be ill-advised to ride up and park my Triumph in front of some biker bar somewhere and THEN walk into the place and yell out somethin' like say, "HEY YOU GUYS! HARLEYS SUCK!!!", and because it "might" not ONLY result in some "hurt feelings" being felt by those already within that establishment, BUT could ALSO "possibly" result in a few "hurts" being placed upon my own physical being, RIGHT?! ;)

 

(...yeah, I guess I can kind'a see your point now)  LOL

Well then, I was certainly right, Dargo, not to underestimate your intelligence, in an intelligent appreciation for an intelligent opinion. And so it goes also with matters of taste, for indeed, any man with the good taste to ride a Triumph has every right in the world to look down his nose, if only ever so slightly (if not affectionately) upon a Harley. But . . .

 

As to whether riders of BSA's, Indians and Vincents (Black Shadows or Blue Princes) might have cause to look down in kindly condescension upon your Triumph is an entirely different matter, don't you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well then, I was certainly right, Dargo, not to underestimate your intelligence, in an intelligent appreciation for an intelligent opinion. And so it goes also with matters of taste, for indeed, any man with the good taste to ride a Triumph has every right in the world to look down his nose, if only ever so slightly (if not affectionately) upon a Harley. But . . .

 

As to whether riders of BSA's, Indians and Vincents (Black Shadows or Blue Princes) might have cause to look down in kindly condescension upon your Triumph is an entirely different matter, don't you think?

 

Nah, 'cause I'm thinkin' that ONLY those who ride BMWs MIGHT have a "legitimate" reason to look down their collective noses at ME and my Triumph!

 

And primarily because not ONLY did AND do those "Krauts" seem to know a lot about good engineering, BUT they ALSO never resorted to using any of Joe Lucas' electrical bits in their bikes EITHER...and UNLIKE all those cool old British machines you just listed here. ;)

 

(...btw...what's a "BLUE Prince"?...didn't know Mr. Vincent ever made a model of that variety other than a "BLACK Prince")

 

(...oh, and btw again, and re the NEW Indians...VERY nice bikes...I've test ridden a couple of 'em recently and found Polaris Industries, the latest "caretaker" of this hallowed American marque, has done an excellent job with both their design and functionality)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...