Thursday, December 18, 2014

Don't Let the Terrorists Win

Is North Korea's regime really the moving force behind the Sony Pictures hack? Hell if I know -- and as Kim Zetter points out over at Wired, the case for it is not as strong as one might think from just reading the headlines.

I don't really care who's behind it, and I hope Sony Pictures and the cowardly theater chains dropping The Interview change course, quick.

If they do -- if the film gets the theatrical release that the chains just dropped and that Sony just canceled, I'll probably go see it. Maybe even on Christmas day, the scheduled premiere date. Not because I'm a huge Seth Rogen/James Franco fan (I'm not -- not that I don't like them, just not a squealing fanboy), nor because I think it sounds like a particularly entertaining movie (I don't; it kind of feels like they're just trying to top Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Team America and whatnot).

I'll go see it precisely because of the alleged terrorist threats accompanying the prospect of its release. Damned if I'm going to acquiesce to censorship as a terror tactic or to terror as a censorship tactic. Whoever's making the threats, please listen carefully: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

There's a certain amount of posturing about all this. For example, making fun of the Kim regime's bellicose statements on the film ("act of war!"). In my opinion, much of that posturing has a pot/kettle/black quality to it. Let me put it this way: If a studio decided to make a comedy about a couple of guys trying to assassinate Barack Obama, they'd almost certainly hear from the Secret Service, enjoy round condemnation across the entire spectrum of "respectable" political opinion and have lots of trouble getting their movie shown. But you know what? If that happened I'd go see that film too, for the same reasons.

Addendum: An Alternative Scenario for Releasing The Interview

So, some time in the next few days, The Interview shows up on the web as a "pirated download." And Sony Pictures issues a pro forma complaint that they must have been hacked again, oh well ... hey, we're just going to go ahead and renounce any IP claims, everyone have fun.

Hey, it could happen. They've already plowed a LOT of money into this thing (above and beyond production costs, the TV commercial promotion has been relentless), and if they don't show it (which the theaters apparently won't do because terror threats) and can't release it on DVD (which I bet the chain stores won't carry because terror threats), why not at least exploit the buzz to maximum publicity benefit?

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