The Interview (and America’s Weak Use of the Media)

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The Interview (and America’s Weak Use of the Media)

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:38 pm

As some of you might have been aware of, Sony has been hacked.

http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/12/all-major-movie-theaters-decline-to-screen-the-interview-in-wake-of-terrorism-threats/

This lead to the cancelation of their yet-unreleased film “The Interview,” as there have been reports of the hack into Sony might have actually come from North Korea. The Interview was a film in which North Korea’s leader was in the sights for a U.S. assassination.

Honestly, I feel as though America’s use of the media has only been weakening since the 80’s and 90’s. The more over-saturated it’s become with cable stations and news networks, the more and more the media tends to clamor for people’s interest as opposed to the people’s undecided attention. This has left American content creators rather ill-suited for these kinds of threats when they arise. My country’s use of media, in both film and in television, has grown weak. In this sense I can totally see what many older film buffs think that most films made past the 70’s are of the Devil’s Work, as they’ve only really contributed to America’s disinterest and incompetence in making and viewing constructive social commentary using the most influential form of media in the history of mankind: the feature length film and other motion-picture medium.

EDIT: Just for the sake of it, here’s what you’re missing out on: http://youtu.be/ALYw9eJ_jf0
If it’s true than North Korea hacked Sony, this video needs to spread like wildfire.

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Postby Guy Nacks » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:43 pm

I think AMC, Regal, etc. and Sony ultimately deciding to pull the film from release is a disgraceful decision and a horrible precedent to set. So, any film that gets a terror threat faces censorship now in a country which prides itself on free speech? And if NK actually did perform some sort of terrorist attack, they'd be beyond fucked. Who knows how the US Government's gonna respond to them having a hand in the hacking? It's not like any sanctions are gonna do anything, seeing as how isolated NK is from us in that department already.
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Postby Ray » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:48 pm

So will the movie ever be released? I genuinely want to see it now.
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Postby Chuckman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:07 pm

I was seriously going to go see this on opening day and just read a book in the theater as I have no real interest in it.

Shame, shame, shame.

I can see why they did it though- it was the movie theaters that did this. Especially since there's a theater mass shooting relatively fresh in public consciousness they were probably worried about people who want to see other movies, especially with kids, staying home and avoiding theaters showing The Interview.

Which is shit. It is every American's patriotic duty to pay ten dollars to see this shitty movie and another ten to eat shitty burnt popcorn covered in salty congealed grease and swill watery corn syrup. It is God's will.
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Postby soul.assassin » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:13 pm

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:I think AMC, Regal, etc. and Sony ultimately deciding to pull the film from release is a disgraceful decision and a horrible precedent to set. So, any film that gets a terror threat faces censorship now in a country which prides itself on free speech? And if NK actually did perform some sort of terrorist attack, they'd be beyond fucked. Who knows how the US Government's gonna respond to them having a hand in the hacking? It's not like any sanctions are gonna do anything, seeing as how isolated NK is from us in that department already.


Considering how the threat was construed, the volume of data, and the supposed sophistication of the attack, it looked more of an insider job.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:20 pm

I was (and probably still am) under the opinion that the cyber security breach at Sony was an insider job. But the fact that theaters pulled out too early bothers me the most. The fact that Sony had to give up bothers me the most. The fact that other networks and studios are canceling production of similarly themed media bothers me the most: http://deadline.com/2014/12/north-korea-thriller-gore-verbinski-steve-carell-canceled-new-regency-1201328532/

It all bothers me the most.

Our free-thinking, free-speaking society has no balls. No fucking balls at all. I’ve never been so disappointed in Hollywood business in my whole life.

This, on the other hand, doesn’t bother me at all: http://www.slashfilm.com/alamo-drafthouse-team-america-the-interview/
It’s good to see at least one theater get it right.

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Postby Chuckman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:34 pm

It was not an insider job. If it was it was an insane insider job.

The Sony emails made the company a laughing stock, made them look racist, and alienated A-list talent. The other leaked materials made them look ridiculous. After Earth is a complete product ecosystem and will push through to soft drinks, food items, and cars. These morons thought people were going to by actual cars with decals from a shitty Jayden Smith vehicle or something.

If it's an inside job their thought process was "let's do everything possible to destroy our company to hype up a bad comedy movie with poor earnings potential that the CEO of Sony Japan is angry with us for making in the first place."

I've spent plenty of time studying conspiracy theories, and I'm just as convinced that space lizards (in association with the reverse vampires) did 9/11 as the next person, but come on. If this is a deliberate move on Sony's part... I can't even fathom that. To top it all off, this supposedly deliberate leak ended with the big five theater chains (that is, 90% of theaters) and "other studios releasing movies that day" (read: Disney) crawling up Sony's ass to keep them from releasing the goddamn movie.

This is our marketing plan: We'll personally insult the Preside of the United States, call Angelina Jolie a no talent slut, make us look like out of touch idiots who think we'll make billions on little toy Spider-Men to put on drink straws and make sure we can't even release the movie we did this to promote.

Oh, and somehow Sony managed to fool the State Department into blaming North Korea for them. The government is now involved in this vast conspiracy to hype up the release of The Interview, i.e. 85 minutes of cum and fart jokes from Seth Rogan. Which they will not release a a direct result of this alleged marketing conspiracy.

No, none of this was deliberate on Sony's part. Yes, I saw the internal presentation materials on After Earth, but even the company responsible for that atrocity is not this stupid and out of touch.

edit: I will concede the possibility of a disgruntled employee or employees doing this, but I can't fathom being angry enough at your boss to warrant what will happen to them when they get caught. If they are insiders they will get caught, and their anus will never be the same.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:52 pm

The whole “disgruntled employee” idea is what most “insider job” “theories” assume. It was reported early on that North Korea might have had something to do with it, but I kinda laughed it off since, well, it’s fucking North Korea. They spend their free time fishing their “To: America” tagged missiles out of their own beaches. What the fuck do they fuckin’ know about fucking fuck? I mean, fuck!

If it is a confirmed North Korea attack, then I’m waiting on hearing an actual televised statement from someone in Washington D.C. Something to put a stable hand on this mess. Fucking culture and commerce (such that it is; yeah I know we’re talking about cheap-shot Seth Rogan here) has been tampered with in ways that are clearly and strictly illegal.

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Postby Chuckman » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:19 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/world/asia/us-links-north-korea-to-sony-hacking.html

It's NK.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:04 am

It's a complicated & truly awful scenario. But, it's not a disgruntled employee. I have little reason to doubt it was some kind of movement either instigated by the North Korean government or local sympathizers.

The theater chains doomed "The Interview" when they decided not to run the film in fear of potential lawsuits. As a corporation the theater chains aren't worried about people dying more that they're worried about incurring lawsuits if an event DID take place & they were held accountable for holding a show that could place people in danger. Since "The Interview" isn't tracking at being a massive blockbuster - probably around $75 million domestic - & the theaters themselves don't take that big a cut of the ticket sales they made the cold decision to not release the film. I can promise you if threats such as these had been made against films like The Hobbit 3, Avengers 2 or Star Wars anything the theaters would not have budged an inch. Too much money to be made.

Speaking of money the sad fact is nothing scares quietly xenophobic middle America more than "Those Crazy Foreigners" & all this news about "September 11th" type attacks (of which none would have happened I assure you) the thing that Cinema Corporations were most afraid of was people staying away from theaters in droves to "stay safe". The Christmas holidays is one of the biggest money making weeks of the year & with The Hobbit 3, Night At the Museum 3, Unbroken, Into the Woods & more big family-friendly fare getting released the chains didn't want to risk losing attendance on those films because one auditorium is playing "That James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy that might draw foreign attackers". So the theater chains made the simple decision of dropping it. Sony got screwed. If the top 5 theater chains aren't gonna play "The Interview" at most it could get it out on like 100 screens nationwide.

Now the question is what happens next. My big fear are two-fold.

1. Sony will just bury "The Interview" in a vault somewhere. Forever.
Why? Why in the hell would they do that? Simple. Force majeure. Sony is set to lose about $90 million if the movie doesn't go to theaters. Production budget, marketing budget, international marketing budget, etc. All that money has been spent & now no one might be able to purchase a ticket.
Why not release it VOD & on BD/DVD. Well, there's no question if "The Interview" went straight to VOD now it would be the biggest seller in the history of the new distribution method to date. Still, at most that would come to about 1/5th the theatrical gross (not to mention it's far easier to hack something like iTunes or Netflix than it would be to attack theaters). The lack of a theatrical release would also cut into the BD/DVD sales. In the end even if "The Interview" was a huge VOD success there's no way in hell Sony would recover the money already spent.
But, with the insurance documents every project is signed to before starting a production if Sony buried the movie right now due to force majeure (an unforeseen act of God that the studio could not control) every penny that has been spent on "The Interview" would be insured back to them. All $90 million. Sony wouldn't make a profit. But they wouldn't lose anything. Aside from face.
That's a big worry since Sony has "no further plans" at the moment.

2. It'll kill a lot of cool future projects.
If Hollyweird (lol) is already scared of doing projects outside of the mass-appeal super blockbusters having one of those "outside the box" movies killed in such a brash way would only frighten them more. If all it took was some dudes with a computer & a few vague threats to kill a big Christmas release it'll scare off a lot of producers from doing anything else risky.

Hopefully Sony is willing to bite the bullet for now, miss out on the Christmas holidays & is waiting for the culprits responsible for the hack to be apprehended so they can release the film at another date. Maybe sometime in March or April when attendance is down.

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Postby Chuckman » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:38 am

It wouldn't be the first time a studio has completely buried a finished film.

I say they'll go for the insurance payout.

Also this: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-hack-activists-drop-interview-758529
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Postby Ray » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:59 am

So what's next Hollywood? Refusing to release a movie about soldiers in the Middle East because al Qaeda doesn't like it? Or better yet, refuse to release a movie about Charles Darwin because the Westboro Church threatens to attack?

When a bully threatens you, you don't back down. You punch him in the face and show him who's boss.

I'm genuinely worried that this controversy will result in another project Im looking forward to getting cancelled. A videogame called Homefront: The Revolution. Which features a cartoonishly overpowered NK as the villain.

Free speech in popular media is dead, and Sony is peeing on the grave.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:07 am

Has captain america taught you nothing? you do not back down from terrorism threats, you punch them in the fucking face, besides its north korea, they wouldn't do jack shit, they are all talk and no bite.
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Postby Ray » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:11 am

This whole situation is like the plot to an episode of South Park.

EDIT: While the movie likely won't be released anytime soon. Here's a list of the six most outrageous moments from it.


http://www.mtv.com/news/2029561/the-interview-movie-craziest-moments/
Last edited by Ray on Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:15 am

Yeah basically.
Seriously though the minute you give in to these threats is the minute you tell them that they win, because they have won, that is the whole point, scare you into giving them what they want hence the name.
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Postby soul.assassin » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:27 pm

I thought of the implications for this:

* As the breach has demonstrated, it would pave the way for further attempts at breaching other corporate networks and even government-held systems, as other groups will attempt to outdo themselves, but anyone daring to do so would increase their chances of being tracked down.
* For some who sees this as a boon, they'll say that they could actually make entertainment corporations pay the price for purported ruination of culture and good taste (often of late, everytime a new movie comes out, there's always outrage whenever one's childhood memories is put onto film), and for imposing draconian copyright regimes.
* Finally, a blackhat group being able to force a corporation to stop releasing a product by virtue of hostaging highly-sensitive data would demonstrate the immense power and opportunity for further blackmailing. Of course, there will be some other interested parties willing to pay much for such astonishing amount of information.

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Postby Chuckman » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:04 pm

View Original Postsoul.assassin wrote:* For some who sees this as a boon, they'll say that they could actually make entertainment corporations pay the price for purported ruination of culture and good taste


Fuck anyone who does this or thinks this way.
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Postby Ray » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:21 pm

Exactly. Do I like Bayformers? No. But I respect Bays right to make the movies. I would be ashamed of anyone who did a similar threat to the premiere of Transformers 4.

What's to stop similar things from happening to other studios and productions? Especially now that Sony has set this horrible precedent?
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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:38 pm

The "we do not negotiate with terrorists" quote exists for a reason Sony, learn to use it.
"She had better march back here and try again! I only send people off on my terms! ...Or in a casket."
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:51 pm

The problem isn't terrorists; it's lawyers (and USAn tort law in particular)
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