Thursday, December 18, 2014

12.18.14 Bee-otch of the Day: North Korea

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Name: North Korea
Age: 69
Occupation: communist nation
Last Seen: Asia
Bee-otched For: canceling "The Interview"
Looks like movie goers won't be laughing on Christmas.

It has been announced that Sony is yanking "The Interview" from its Christmas release date after theatre chains refused to show it because of 9/11-style threats brought on by the so-called "Guardians of Peace".

The group's note read:



We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places "The Interview" be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.

The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001.

We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)

Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

All the world will denounce the SONY."


Because of the group's threat, Carmike Cinemas, a chain that owns theatres in Battle Creek here in west Michigan and many more in northern Michigan - including the two big cineplexes in my old stomping ground of Traverse City - was the first to yank the premiere of the film. Other chains, Chinese-owned AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Cineplex Odeon and Loeks/Celebration Cinemas here in Grand Rapids also yanked the film. Sony even canceled the film's premiere in Los Angeles and canceled all appearances of the movie's stars, Seth Rogen (who directed the film) and James Franco.

In "The Interview", Rogen and Franco play two men out to kill Kim Jong-Un, the country's dictator. Because of the film centering around the demise of the reclusive leader, the GOP ended up hacking Sony's servers and posted copies of the film, plus several other future Sony releases, such as "Annie". They also posted emails from Sony execs and even a memo that stated that Alex Trebek was ready to walk off the set of Jeopardy! because of a stage mom.

Of course, the postponing of the movie's debut has left a lot of people with mixed emotions. Some think that Sony's bowing to the terrorists while others think that it's a good idea to protect moviegoers. The point is, it's better safe than sorry, even if North Korea supposedly doesn't have the know-how to blow up 3,000 theatres at once.

But let's remember this: "Team America: World Police" also mocked North Korea and its then-leader, Kim Jung-Il. No theatre was ever bombed, and I don't think any copies of the film's DVD ever exploded. Of course, this was 2004 when movies were sent to theatres in big, bulky 35mm rolls versus the hard drives that are sent out today. Yes, there's no scratches or splices in the films, but 1) it left a lot of projectionists out of work and 2) since digital projection is totally automated, it also means that theatres and the chains that they own them can be served from a central hub where everything is programmed.

It's not known if Sony plans to release the movie at a later time when our situation with North Korea is resolved, but there's many avenues to look at: they can release the film on home media or go with a smaller distributor. Maybe they can release it on 35mm, but it might be tough since some cinemas purged themselves of their old projectors. They need to think of something, especially since the film cost them $50 million to produce.

Undoubtedly, it will have an effect on moviegoers this holiday season also, since it was the only new comedy being released. Of course, most of the new releases are all family films, ie "Annie", "Night At the Museum" and "Into the Woods".

You see, Kim Jong-Un is nothing more than a big bully who wants to destroy America. It's a shame that we didn't go after North Korea when Bush was blasting away at Iraq since we all knew who had the oil. But NK had the weapons, which makes them the real evil. Now, they're the ones threatening America by simply telling us that making a movie that depicts the death of their ruthless leader is a big no-no. Even worse, it'll make studios make more and more shitty remakes and plotless superhero movies that only appeal to those with an IQ of room temperature.

Personally, if "The Interview" came out on Christmas, I'd make it a point to see it, especially if it was funny and good. Seth Rogan and Judd Apatow make very good movies and it's a shame that Sony is playing it safe these holidays.

Somewhere, Kirk Cameron is smiling.

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