Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Movie Review: "The Interview"

A little after new years day I saw The Interview was uploaded to youtube, originally when the trailer came out I was going to give it a miss since most comedy trailers nowadays put their best jokes in them and I didn't laugh once. But thanks to craziness about Kim Jong Un supposedly not being a fan (I wonder if he got a preview screening) and hacking and alarmist comments that this could somehow provoke a war
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in state media that the movie's release would be an "act of war".
He did not mention the title, but a Hollywood movie called The Interview with a similar plot is due in October.
 I decided why not? After all it wasn't costing me anything, and I could always click onto something else if it was awful. I watched the whole thing which honestly surprised me, I didn't like any of the films big jokes but a few quick gags were amusing, and I was genuinely interested to see where the plot was going. Its got quite a few problems besides jokes that go on to long, James Franco seems to be doing an impression of Jack Nicholson's Joker, "First you eat your vegetables, then you get to eat your STEEEEEEAAAAKK!" which I found very distracting. And I don't really care for Seth Rogen, he's one of those actors who seems to be playing himself in every role, just with a different job and circle of friends. I don't dislike him or anything, I think he has the best lines of the two, but I don't think he adds much.

Randall Park (pictured) the guy they got to play Kim Jong Un is very good though, in some scenes he does look very similar to the Great Leader, and his acting is very convincing. He's jokey and charming when the plot needs him to be, and he can snap into sinister viciousness when that's required too. Other than that, its well made, all the sets look convincing except for one set though the fake set and dodgy props is deliberate.

Now onto the juicy stuff, the political fallout. First a disclaimer I have absolutely no idea who was behind the Sony Hack and I don't really care, its completely irrelevant to anyone who isn't attached to Sony. Now the only reason I did bother to watch The Interview was because of the absurd political clashes over it. I was surprised by how surprised quite a few media personalities were about the denunciations by the North Korean government, plenty of government officials the world over have shown they have no sense of humour and the DPRK isn't considered an exception. I mean just saying you're going to kill the Presidentof the US gets you investigated by the Secret Service so I don't think anyone has the moral high ground in this fight.

And its not like North Korea is unique in attacking media that revolves around killing a head of state, the 2004 game JFK: Reloaded a game about assassinating JFK was denounced by at least two Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Lieberman.

I was taken aback by the number of times I saw variations of "haven't they got something better to do?" the they referring to the North Korean Foreign affairs and diplomats. Diplomats and Foreign Secretaries are living breathing propaganda machines, their one and only job is to represent their nation in the best possible light, that includes refuting and stifling criticism. Furthermore The Interview was made by Americans a nation that North Korea has no official ties or business with, so they really don't have anything better to do there. If it was Russia or China or Iran, you know nations that North Korea does have a working relationship and economic ties, then yes they probably would have better things to do. Though personally speaking I think the North Korean government should be more worried about what the film has to say about assassinating Kim Jong Un, they outright state that killing him won't solve anything since they'll just replace him with another brother or just another General. You have to expose and publicly challenge the regime to have a chance at fundamental change.

If you were even a little curious I recommend giving the film a watch though feel free to skip the first bit its just "hilarious" buddy antics.


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