Controversy makes for great publicity
BY ELIZABETH CHAPA
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
“The Interview,” starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, has developed controversy across the country due to a scandal behind the release of the movie. It all began when Sony Entertainment was hacked the morning of Nov. 24. The initial hacking started with an image of a stylized skull flashed on all the employees’ computer screens at once, along with a message warning that, “This is just the beginning.”
The hackers referred to themselves as “Guardians of Peace.” These evil masterminds obtained about 100 terabytes of stolen data from Sony servers, which put the whole corporation at an electronic halt, including phones, emails and computers.
On Nov. 27, five Sony films were released onto online file sharing websites, four of which have not been released to theaters yet, including “Annie,” “Mr. Turner,” “Still Alice” and “To Write Love On Her Arms.” These can all be illegally downloaded to viewers at home now. It was not until the following day that Sony reportedly suspected that North Korea could possibly be responsible for the attack as a form of revenge for the “The Interview.”
A lot of personal information and business matter about past employees, current employees and company executives was obtained by the hackers and was leaked to media. North Korea denied involvement.
According to Dateline on Dec. 16, an email was sent to reporters by cyber-terrorists threatening to attack movie theaters that show “The Interview,” which made it the first time the film was mentioned and involved with the hack.
This is what led Sony to tell theater owners they could hold off on showing “The Interview” if they were worried about the threat.
However, according to USA Today, the decision came after five major theater chains including AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment announced they would not screen the film. The decision was then made to not show the film at all, nor go on with the scheduled release for Christmas day.
Press screenings were cancelled, along with TV advertising for the movie, but that did not stop the release. On Dec. 23, Sony announced the release would go on as scheduled for any theaters that wished to show it.
A LOOK AT THE MOVIE
“The Interview” was directed and produced by Evan Goldberg, Rogen who stars in the film, was also a director for the film.
Starring the duo in their third movie together, Franco plays TV host Dave Skylark alongside of Rogen, who plays producer Aaron Rapaport. Their show titled “Skylark Tonight” is known for covering tabloid style entertainment and features many big name artists. The office in which they work in is similar to what is seen on “TMZ.”
Dave goes to Aaron with the wild idea to interview the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, on his show after the New York Times published an article about the president, in which he said his favorite shows were “The Big Bang Theory” and “Skylark Tonight.”
Aaron attempts to get ahold of the leader and leaves a message. He then gets a surprising call to meet with them in China. When he gets there, he is told that he is granted a one-hour interview on the “Skylark Show.”
The interview with the dictator is set to take place in a matter of three weeks, which is announced on the show. They will be traveling to Pyongyang in order to conduct the first globally broadcasted interview with Kim Jong Un.
The duo is soon woken up by a knock on the door by CIA Agent Lacey, played by Lizzy Caplan, who also played Janis Ian in “Mean Girls,” at their trashed pad after a night of partying. The CIA wants to turn their interview into an assassination mission, and Dave and Aaron agree.
On contrary to their mission going as planned, things take a turn. With the peaking point occurring towards the end of the movie, at the time of airing the interview, it turned into an action packed film. The action is very similar as something that is seen in other movies with Rogen and Franco, like “Pineapple Express.” At times, it is accompanied by unrealistic moments, such as a guy biting off one of Aaron’s fingers.
Overall, the movie had its humorous moments with the lead characters, but it lacked depth in the storyline. The film was a risky move, as it stirred up much trouble. There has been a lot more talk about what actually happened with the release of “The Interview” and is pushing curious viewers to see what it’s all about, yet there is no great movie to stand behind it.
To watch “The Interview,” check local listing, as it is being played at selected theaters. It is also available to watch on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox Video, Playstation Store, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video or on seetheinterview.com