By all accounts, you'll get more laughs from the story of self-imposed censorship than the actual "movie".
Oh yes, "movie" is in quotes.
I'm beginning to believe that there is, and was, no movie. Ever.
Ok - I drafted that first part (and most of the below part) a few days ago, assuming Sony was never going to release the film - saying they had no means of distribution, which was a big fat lie, as they wholly owns Crackle - a movie / tv / video streaming service.
I debated wiping out all I had written, but now I'll just keep most of it, I think. Party because I'm lazy. Partly because we still have yet to see what happens with the movie release. Partly because it has jabs of humour.
But I'll highlight things that are no longer potentially relevant.
I'm going out on a limb to say there are just a half-dozen snippets of film out there, all of which utilize Hollywood actors to make propaganda clips to incite North Korea. For what reason, I'm not sure.
We were traveling a bit the last few days - stuck in the car for hours. I think we had four hours alone of listening to Diane Rehm (whom I adore). Both her show on last Friday and this past Monday spent time on the topic of North Korea, Sony and this reportedly very-average-at-best movie.
The panelists talked about how we should retaliate by screening the film on the National Mall.
What could POSSIBLY go wrong with having hundreds of thousands of people gathered together near centuries old monuments and historical buildings when theaters won't show the celluloid due to potential exposure to violence?
Even if North Koreans don't have the ability to really do anything, it would still be a great event - spurred by North Korea - for any other fucked-up group to take ownership of the situation.
On Friday the panelists discussed there isn't much we can do to North Korea as we have all sanctions in place. On Monday, the new panelists said we should impose new sanctions. This is one of the times where Diane failed to follow-up. She could have moderated asking that Person A said there were no more sanctions to be had, so what would Person B suggest. But it wasn't there.
The discussions also ranged from, cyber attacks have taken a new turn where having to have a corporation self-censorship is much worse than say, yours, mine and tens of millions of people having their data hacked via Target, JP Morgan, Home Depot, etc.
You might want to ask those tens of millions if it came down to their information or whether an email claiming Angelina Jolie is a spoiled brat (oh, and a mediocre Seth Rogen movie) - on which side they'd come down.
And of course, it always came around to what 'proportional response' would President Obama do to North Korea.
Huh? Should he?
I'm not sure at what point the U.S. Government, let alone the chief executive, decides or executes a proportional response plan because a private company (and Japanese held, at that) has their computers hacked. And it was a viable threat Sony knew of weeks or months in advance and did NOTHING for added protection (again, it plays into this conspiracy theory of really there being no movie).
The other missed opportunity - though no one interviewed was going to let North Korea have even a slight out, because that would be unpatriotic - was that how can the U.S. (government or citizens) outraged at this alleged act?
Have we not just gone through 18 months of "the U.S. govt is looking at my information? the U.S. govt is looking at other corporation and government's information...." shit?
We hardly have the moral high ground here. But it wasn't even a topic to be moderated, as the host nor panelists ever dared to breathe our probable illegal actions and North Korea's into the same topic.
There are a few more reasons to think there is no actual film:
- North Korea showed their displeasure with this "movie" before it was even made, yet still they released the last two known U.S. detainees only a month ago. If they were outraged and if the film existed, why would they play nice with us?
- What studio would put James Franco in a reported $44MM budgeted movie? Let's face it, the man lucked out being in Spider-Man and a Planet of the Apes movie. Those movies were going to succeed with or without him - he caught a lucky wave with those. But it's not like his other films were raking in big bucks.
- Oh, and there is no accompanying soundtrack to the movie. Even the shittiest of shit movies has an even shittier soundtrack release - including Godzilla (did anyone see that movie?) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have soundtracks. I think Guardians of the Galaxy has two - but I had all those songs on K-Tel records.
Of course, the movie could exist and as it turns out this is the most intricate public relations stunt for a media event since Orson Wells' War of the Worlds.
To be fair, I don't think Wells knew the impact this radio broadcast would have. But truthfully, I've seen some of the Sony emails and those dim bulbs don't seem clever enough to come up with something with this many moving parts.
Update: I suppose if more than the six theaters planning to show this flick, it will be the biggest P.R. boost / scam that Hollywood has done, next to making Jackie Chan a "star".
Song by: Fall Out Boy