Thursday, December 18, 2014

We're Getting Punked

Am I the only one with a sneaking suspicion that the controversy surrounding the new movie The Interview is just a ruse--and part of the most-elaborate marketing scheme ever concocted for a new release?

For those who don't watch Entertainment Tonight, E!, Extra, and TMZ Live all in order every night, The new Seth Rogan film is about two half-wit reporters who are granted an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un--and then are recruited by the CIA to kill him.  North Korea has reportedly condemned the movie and demanded it not be released.  That was followed by the "leaking" of Sony Pictures inter-office emails and "anonymous" threats to unleash "9/11 style attacks" on movie theaters that show the film--all allegedly done by North Korean operatives or the government itself.

But if you look at the emails that were "leaked" you don't really find anything that shocking.  Producers think Angelina Jolie is a talentless hack and a spoiled brat?  No surprise there.  (And don't forget that she has a film that she directed--Unbroken--coming out on Christmas day!)  Jennifer Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in the Hunger Games movies?  That just "advances the narrative" about gender pay gaps.  And rich, liberal Hollywood types make racial jokes about President Obama?  We'll put that on page one right under "Dog Bites Man".

And as for the "9/11 style attacks", do we really believe that North Korea has sleeper cell terrorists here in the US ready to rise up and attack movie-goers?  The economic sanctions, the threats to blow their missiles out of the sky and our continued military presence along the border with South Korea don't warrant terrorist action--but a movie does?  All of this is bolstered by "sources" telling the networks (who have ties to Hollywood as well) that the hacking and the threats are coming from North Korea--but the State Department flatly denies having any such information.  Seems to me they would be the first to know about this stuff.

Yesterday, Sony Pictures announced it was NOT going to release The Interview at this time--due of course to the "controversy".  But by doing so, they create "public outcry" for its widespread release.  "We can't let the terrorists win!" will be the rallying cry from those on both the left and the right.  (Who would have ever thought that watching a movie with Seth Rogen playing his usual drunken, pot-head character would become and "act of defiance and patriotism".)  Even the President yesterday encouraged people to "go to the movies"--free advertising and a call to action for an industry that has been struggling outside of sci-fi flicks with huge nerdy fan bases.

So don't be surprised that sometime after The Interview is finally released and does boffo box office numbers that we find out that we have all be had by more "Hollywood Magic".

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