Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hacked Sony Film “The Interview” Becomes a Real-Life Comedy

Seth Rogen James Franco Cancel Media
Update:  As a consequence of the hacked Sony data, the Sony Corporation has announced that it is cancelling the showing of "The Interview" in all theatres in its distribution network. The decision was criticized by former Obama press spokesmany Jay Carney on CNN Tonight.  Another criticism was levied by noted Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein who agreed with Carney that Sony should not have "caved" but questioned whether such an idiotic movie should have been created in the first place. 

Reading George Saunders “Tenth of December” as I write so don’t complain if I slip into streams of consciousness (or unconsciousness). 

Thank you, James Joyce, if not for inventing it, for taking it to the next level (clichĂ©). “Next level”… overused expression taken from hip-hop. . . like “back in the day”. . . also worn out now that it has crept into the white middle class, as things do when Hollywood gets hold of things, amplifies them, and pretends to be hip. 

Not so hip were the hacked Sony emails showing how Hollywood filmmaker types made little racial innuendoes about Barack Obama.  You’d heard, haven’t you?  The Sony execs wondering aloud (in email print) what racially charged films Obama would like the most… complete with tittering and with a heavy dose of white liberal preening…  Isn’t that what they do? All of it in bad taste, of course, offending even the more conservative Japanese exec-in-charge who made the filmmakers cut parts of “The Interview” that depicted North Korean dictator with his face melting and his head on fire. 

Did you die laughing yet?  Or don’t you know that “The Interview” is supposed to be a comedy?  Yeah, really. The plot is about a duo of journalists who are going to interview Kim. Of course, the CIA, that diabolical scapegoat of pointy headed libertarians with propeller caps, radical lefties wearing Che Guevara tee-shirts sipping lattes in Starbucks, and left-fielding Democratic Party bigwigs  like Senator Dianne Feinstein, always hires journalists to assassinate foreign leaders. 
When talent and creativity is lacking, go with the most ridiculous, abominable script you can find. 

Hollywood scriptwriters and producers think you’re dumb enough to watch it, and maybe they’re right.  We’re all getting dumber, and the dumber we get, the more Hollywood will dump this artless crap on us. If audiences reject bad taste, then go for the Big One—free speech. Yes, make bad taste and moral decay a liberal cause—you’ve got to massage those low and base instincts of human nature. I’ll believe that free speech rationalization when Hollywood makes an honest comedy about the Taliban – or Bin Laden-- or what about Mullah Omar?
I’ve got no sympathies for the asshats who hacked Sony, but I doubt it was the North Koreans. It was certainly someone who profits from chaos, from creating conflict between nuclear powers, who would enjoy the destruction that could derive from this dangerous stupidity.  Maybe it was the Iranians. A better guess might be Islamist terrorists, ISIS wannabes perhaps, or even Anonymous anarchists.
Anyway, the fallout continues, to the degree that Seth Rogen and James Franco are now declining to give INTERVIEWS about “The Interview.”  The film industry newspaper of record, Variety, reports that the  two starts cancelled all press appearances previously scheduled. Another newspaper of record, the Wall Street Journal,  in a report today said the star duo felt that, in the current atmosphere of hacks and intimidation, they wouldn’t be able to discuss the film. 

I guess we’re supposed to believe there’s a deeper meaning in this idiotic “comedy”  theme.  I feel sorry for all the people who needed the work, but America will be better off if this movie flops.  It might nudge American businesses to put more effort in preventing computer attacks which, in fact, could turn off your heat and electricity.  Another benefit would be that Hollywood scriptwriters and producers might gravitate to stories that don't play to the worst in us. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Woody Allen's "Manhattan" -- Those Were Different Times

It’s been so long since I watched a comedy that wasn’t part slapstick, another part vulgar, and the rest just plain silly that I had forgotten about Woody Allen’s 1979 movie “Manhattan.” I caught the tail end of it on Epix just now. Of course, I’m looking at it through the lens of several decades past. The movie came out in 1979 but the time frame in the writers/director mind was probably the late 60s or early 70s.  That’s how I remember Manhattan anyway, when I lived there for a brief period. It seemed as if everyone was looking for someone or something, and everyone was kind of smarter than the people in the small town I came from. That latter characterization pertains only to those like myself who once confused metropolitanism and sophistication with intelligence, as many of us tended to do. I don’t want to write a review-review of this movie, and I only watched the last third of it but the film is positively enthralling, a work of rare artistry, a blend of music, visuals, people, neuroses and aspirations that seemed oh-so-real I might have cried. Well, at least it made me think of crying. The poignant and revealing interludes all fit together and merge beautifully at the end, the music, the Manhattan skyline, the lovely voice of the ingĂ©nue-- innocent Mariel Hemingway with her plaintive voice going off to London. The film is giant for writers, film types, and people with beating hearts Those were different times, as Lou Reed once sang about Sweet Jane..