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Henry Gale
12-24-2014, 10:00 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=http://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_908w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2014/12/18/Production/Daily/A-Section/Images/Sony_Hack_Theaters-0a699.jpg&w=1484

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788710/?ref_=hm_otw_t3) / Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Interview_%282014_film%29)

Henry Gale
12-25-2014, 04:14 AM
Not too much in the way of brilliantly inspired, politically biting satire, and the content of its jokes feel even more juvenile than the average Rogen vehicle, but that came with my expectations, and none of that stops it from being a ton of fun. It's like a weird relationship thriller, if the dangerous seductress happened to be Kim Jong-Un.

It's obviously been such an odd week for its existence that it's just so nice to simply have it exist, particularly in the comfort of my own home in time for Christmas, and to be able to enjoy it just as a movie and not a (dick and butt joke-fueled) international incident, particularly when it's a movie as brazenly goofy as this.

Irish
12-25-2014, 12:20 PM
This is, unsurprisingly, deeply stupid. Rogen and Franco seem obsessed with (1) each other and (2) anal sphincters.

This is a solid premise, but most of the humor comes from the two lead characters behaving in immature, dumb ways. Lots of dick jokes. Lots of scat humor. It's filled with the kind of jokes that would be big hits in grade school bathrooms. A couple of times, it skirts being overtly racist when the two white leads adopt faux-Asian accents. I didn't laugh with the movie so much as at it. It's so over the top it's unbelievable.

That said, the best moment is pretty sly: When the pair first land in North Korea, Franco turns to their North Korean handler and says "Konnichi wa."

Watashi
12-25-2014, 06:38 PM
I haven't seen this, but Rogen and Goldberg's elementary grade humor bores me. It's 2014, and Rogen is STILL doing his manchild stoner persona. He showed flashes of potential in Take This Waltz. I have no idea why a grown adult would find this guy funny. He seems to exist to only please the very few Kevin Smith fans that's left.

Dukefrukem
12-25-2014, 10:41 PM
Yaying this for America.

Dukefrukem
12-25-2014, 10:44 PM
Not too much in the way of brilliantly inspired, politically biting satire, and the content of its jokes feel even more juvenile than the average Rogen vehicle,

This is accurate. It's probably a little bit quicker paced than THIS IS THE END, but obviously cannot dethrone PINEAPPLE.

eternity
12-26-2014, 12:20 AM
A lot better than I thought it was going to be. This is a clever, biting flick, and I'm glad it got to see the light of day after all. Better than This Is the End, which I was not too keen on.

Irish
12-26-2014, 12:40 AM
Which parts did you find clever and biting?

Henry Gale
12-26-2014, 04:06 AM
It's a cool thing where unlike most movies where it takes a while for everyone you know to slowly get around to seeing it upon various release cycles, it feels like most of my friends and family members all saw it overnight to talk about it today despite none of us having watched it together, or having waited for post-theatrical online releases, VOD, Blu-ray, Netflix, etc.


Which parts did you find clever and biting?

Well speaking for myself, the key bits that stick out in my mind are Kim throwing statistics at Skylark about things like America's incarceration rates and implying that's its own justification for similar societal conditions, and the general way the film positions its entertainment values in dictator-killing fantasy as something of the inverse of what Kim Jong-Un as a character views as the greatest qualities of America through his eyes: Something as insipid as Skylark's show (and of course, the Big Bang Theory).

Even the great "How many times can America make the same mistake?" exchange from the trailers carries more weight than it should.

It's still beyond silly, but that doesn't mean it's inherently dumb.

Ezee E
12-27-2014, 07:28 AM
Silly, yes. But effectively funny the entire way through.

Philip J. Fry
12-27-2014, 11:38 AM
I didn't have the highest of expectations so it didn't disappoint. I thought it was funny, specially anytime James Franco was doing stuff.

transmogrifier
12-27-2014, 12:44 PM
I haven't seen this, but Rogen and Goldberg's elementary grade humor bores me. It's 2014, and Rogen is STILL doing his manchild stoner persona. He showed flashes of potential in Take This Waltz. I have no idea why a grown adult would find this guy funny. He seems to exist to only please the very few Kevin Smith fans that's left.

I like Seth Rogen. I like many of his movies.

eternity
12-27-2014, 08:11 PM
It's a cool thing where unlike most movies where it takes a while for everyone you know to slowly get around to seeing it upon various release cycles, it feels like most of my friends and family members all saw it overnight to talk about it today despite none of us having watched it together, or having waited for post-theatrical online releases, VOD, Blu-ray, Netflix, etc.



Well speaking for myself, the key bits that stick out in my mind are Kim throwing statistics at Skylark about things like America's incarceration rates and implying that's its own justification for similar societal conditions, and the general way the film positions its entertainment values in dictator-killing fantasy as something of the inverse of what Kim Jong-Un as a character views as the greatest qualities of America through his eyes: Something as insipid as Skylark's show (and of course, the Big Bang Theory).

Even the great "How many times can America make the same mistake?" exchange from the trailers carries more weight than it should.

It's still beyond silly, but that doesn't mean it's inherently dumb.

This doubles as my answer.

Henry Gale
12-27-2014, 09:13 PM
I haven't seen this, but Rogen and Goldberg's elementary grade humor bores me. It's 2014, and Rogen is STILL doing his manchild stoner persona. He showed flashes of potential in Take This Waltz.

I remember you kinda went out of your way to avoid Neighbors, but that's movie's story is basically as close to him confronting that, being haunted by its endless temptation of that persona, and him trying his best to move on from it as a big summer, tentpole comedy would probably allow for such meta-text.

He's said that with the movies he's now creatively involved he tries to have them stem from something noticeably shifting in his life and those of his friends and taking those ideas to whatever extremes work the best in greater social (and pitch-able comedic) contexts. This Is The End was more or less about the vapidness of celebrity culture and society's varied 2012 apocalypse fears, 50/50 was truly about and written by his friend who went through many of those cancer experiences, and Neighbors was about watching all of his friends settle down and have kids while youth still seemed within his grasp of the past.

So in that way, conscious or not, his Interview character's struggle with producing a superfluous body of work and not contributing something meaningful to society that has real resonance became kinda prescient with the life this movie has had in the news before it was even out and the subsequent urgency its impending (if un-guaranteed) release was given.

That's kind of a better artistic statement or strand of social commentary than anything explicitly in the movie, really.


I have no idea why a grown adult would find this guy funny.

Yeaaah, screw genuinely enjoying things, right?

Irish
12-28-2014, 05:12 AM
Well speaking for myself, the key bits that stick out in my mind are Kim throwing statistics at Skylark about things like America's incarceration rates and implying that's its own justification for similar societal conditions, and the general way the film positions its entertainment values in dictator-killing fantasy as something of the inverse of what Kim Jong-Un as a character views as the greatest qualities of America through his eyes: Something as insipid as Skylark's show (and of course, the Big Bang Theory).

Even the great "How many times can America make the same mistake?" exchange from the trailers carries more weight than it should.

It's still beyond silly, but that doesn't mean it's inherently dumb.

Fair enough. I liked those moments too, but they're also two lines of dialogue in a 112 minute scat comedy. I mean, one of the biggest running jokes here speculates as to whether Kim Jong On "pees and poops."

Eternity described it as a "clever, biting flick" and as much as I want to buy into that angle, I don't see it.

DSNT
01-06-2015, 04:03 AM
I'm on the fence, but ultimately voted pro. As a comedy, it is lacking even by Rogen, Franco, Apatow standards. As a subversive satire of a totalitarian dictatorship, it was almost spot on. Irish references the pooping and peeing, but that is a reality for North Koreans. They honestly believe that the leader does not need to poop. That is funny to us because it is so asinine, not because it is not true.

The interview itself was the best scene because it got him to break down and shatter the cosmic illusion, revealing he is just a human being. If North Koreans see that, it will be the biggest blow to their allegiance. They might figure out they are being (literally) being fed a lie.

It took some balls to produce this picture.

Ezee E
01-06-2015, 04:17 AM
Yeah, Rogen/Goldberg did a live tweet during a screening, and it was pretty amazing actually. For instance, the beginning with the singing girls, while slightly exaggerated, is somewhat close to the education that students receive according to the filmmakers.

It'd be cool if they make a pop-up video like feature on the movie with the tweets.

Dukefrukem
01-06-2015, 01:02 PM
Yeah, Rogen/Goldberg did a live tweet during a screening, and it was pretty amazing actually. For instance, the beginning with the singing girls, while slightly exaggerated, is somewhat close to the education that students receive according to the filmmakers.

It'd be cool if they make a pop-up video like feature on the movie with the tweets.

Yeh I read that whole live tweet.

Dukefrukem
01-21-2015, 12:21 AM
This is streaming on Netflix starting on Sat.

Spun Lepton
01-28-2015, 05:50 PM
Surprisingly mature statement made by an otherwise juvenile flick. I think Franco is beginning to wear on me, as I found him intermittently irritating in this. 6/10

MadMan
01-28-2015, 06:32 PM
I agree with Spun about Franco although I still find him funny. Oddly enough I felt that even though Seth Rogan is the straight man Franco was setting him up at times. I really enjoyed this film although it pales in comparison to This Is The End.

I loved the LOTR jokes btw. "You're Bormeir." "Who's Bormeir?" "That's such a Bormeir thing to say."

Also North Korea got pissed over this? Okay I guess a movie depicting your leader the way it did and everything probably would piss any country off. So in a way this film is gusty in that regard I suppose.

Also I will never listen to Firework the same way again. I liked Red State and I enjoy and like Seth Rogan as a comedian. I never said I had good taste.

Spinal
02-02-2015, 06:40 PM
Eminem gives the best performance in this movie.

number8
02-02-2015, 07:13 PM
I think what's interesting to me is that what I find frequently the best about Goldberg/Rogen's movies is their handling of the sad lows of male bonding, like the escalator ending of Superbad or Franco crying in the playground in Pineapple Express. I wonder if, stripped of their obsession with dick jokes, they might be able to make the best over-the-top male melodrama since John Woo.

I get that the "Fireworks"-scored death scene is meant to be funny, but I appreciated the tragedy of it a lot more.

Spinal
02-02-2015, 09:23 PM
I get that the "Fireworks"-scored death scene is meant to be funny, but I appreciated the tragedy of it a lot more.

Strangely, this was a rare moment in the movie that actually worked for me with its bizarre mixture of flippancy and compassion. On one hand, it's a reckless joke, offing a world leader cavalierly in a mainstream comedy. But on the other hand, slowing it down and lingering over the moment almost makes it feel like an emotional release for the dictator. He doesn't have to keep up the act anymore. He and Katy Perry can be together in oblivion and maybe that's where he will find peace.

Too bad the rest of the movie is utterly tiresome.

number8
02-03-2015, 04:10 PM
I'm with you but I'd be a little kinder and say that Randall Park largely succeeded in making Kim more than a parody of a dictator. I like that the Katy Perry thing didn't turn out to be a part of his honeydicking scheme.

D_Davis
02-03-2015, 04:19 PM
I wonder if, stripped of their obsession with dick jokes, they might be able to make the best over-the-top male melodrama since John Woo.



I don't think so. Everything they do is drenched in too much irony to be as sincere as the male-bonding melodrama in John Woo's films, and if you stripped away the "no-homo" attitude, then you would just be dealing with a completely different set of filmmakers.

Dead & Messed Up
02-09-2015, 09:05 AM
Maybe that explosion at the end was meant as a simple ironic gag, but I agree with numeral Ocho that Park puts so much into the character that his death doubles as a tragedy. A tortured soul to be tortured no longer.

Grouchy
06-28-2015, 06:38 PM
Heheh well this is what it is. I gave it a Nay but I still laughed.

Sycophant
07-02-2016, 07:57 PM
Maybe the critical reaction here and elsewhere had me over-primed to read it as a story about masculinity and yada ya, but that was definitely the core of the film I really latched onto. It has a lot on its mind, and some of it derives its power from the juxtapositions with its overriding atmosphere of homosociality and dicks-and-buttholes-focused humor, though it has so much of that that is probably ends up weakening its potency. Namely, I thought its grappling with daddy issues, the boundaries of masculine performance, what the insipidness of pop media is in our lives, and where we draw a lot of our personal lines occasionally bordered on the provocative and really interesting.

On the other hand, the first act in Hollywood went on way too long. And the jokes, generally speaking, were not funny. Dick dick fuck fuck. Got it.

And the kind of celebrity cameo/reference humor the entire Apatow camp (but especially Rogen and Goldberg) enjoys feels really tired and show offy. Just because you can get Rob Lowe to do X doesn't mean we need to see X. Rowe turns in a fine and funny performance there, but... I guess I just don't care.

Randall Park is the film's best asset, and probably the reason this resonated with me at all. His performance is fantastic, and by far the funniest, largely because of the depth he brings to it. The film suffers from introducing him so late. You could argue that it's a necessary part of the narrative progression, but meh. The first act could've been way better compressed. The later cut-backs to the American studio just reinforce that the first act barely sets anything up. Who is Timothy Simons in this but a glorified extra leaning on what he's established as Jonah Ryan in Veep?

Wonder what the film would be like without its obnoxious dubstep montages.

Alas, somehow this is the first of Franco's comedy performances (that I've seen) that I'd actually describe as obnoxiously hammy, especially when he interacts with Rogen. The characterization of Rogen and Franco's characters feels really messy, in a lazy and confused way. Not an interesting way.

I need to go back to Superbad at some point and see if that's really the best film about masculinity these guys have written or if I just was interested in its newness then.

Anyway, soft nay. 2.5 stars out of 5. Or 2 out of 5 without halves. Or 2 out of 4. Or solid C-.