Friday, December 26, 2014

Ask Me a Question: The Interview

After all major theater chains decided not to screen The Interview due to potential cyber and physical terrorist attacks, independent owners pleaded with Sony to allow the film to play and let freedom reign.  Texas' Alamo Drafthouse chain reported sell outs at all of their 18 locations while The Downtown Independent, Cinefamily and The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles all picked up the film.  Sony made the film available online for $5.99 Christmas Eve while co-star, writer and director Seth Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg appeared at a midnight screening.  The American Cinematheque and Beyond Fest teamed up to bring the film to audiences for the original intended Christmas Day release and did not disappoint.  The packed house was treated to a DJ dropping beautiful 80's tunes from Rod Stewart, Motley Crue and Van Halen while clips of essential America in the vein of Rocky IV, wrestling, monster trucks, hot dog eating, Rambo, Chuck Norris, Red Dawn and American Idol contestants singing God Bless the U.S.A. got the audience patriotically pumped up.

I actually thought it was a dick move of Sony to release the film online Wednesday before the actual intended release Thursday and taking theaters' exclusive window.  After all, big boys like Cinemark, AMC, Pacific and Regal dropped the film like it had a disease, 330 independent houses are the ones who stepped up and asked to show the film.  I already wanted to see the movie so whether it was was good or bad didn't matter anymore, you had to support it as a movie lover I figured.

Before the film played, George Washington and The Statue of Liberty (traveling buddy act Grant & Christian) welcomed the audience while Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and co-stars Randall Park and Lizzy Caplan showed up to talk about the crazy, fucked up road of events, the maybe hack by North Korea and thanking everyone for attending.  Lizzy Caplan claimed she's never felt patriotic in her life but was starting to feel the love and asked the audience to join her in singing the national anthem as we all stood up and belted about rockets red glare and the home of the brave.  After that, Budweiser, tee shirts and tumblers were tossed into the crowd.  James Franco and his grandma appeared via video to thank everyone for showing up and it was time to roll the flick. 

The Interview is the story of schlock journalist Dave Skylark (James Franco), his best friend/producer Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) and their hit tabloid style show, Skylark Tonight.  After 1000 episodes covering the cool, weird, glamorous and seedy lifestyles of the rich and shameless, Rapaport wants to do something pertaining to real journalism.  A connection to Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park) is made and soon the duo is headed to North Korea to interview the world's most vicious and manipulative dictator.  The pair are then recruited by C.I.A. agent Lacey (Caplan) to assassinate Un while they're there.  Honey potting, honey dicking, poison strips, Bengal Tigers, tanks, Lord of the Rings, Katy Perry, booze, boobs and bro'ing out hijinks ensue.  Like action or horror, comedy films are best experienced with a crowd.  Sitting at home watching it on TV or your laptop where you're easily distracted or sitting alone just doesn't work that well for the yuks to me.  I had a good time with The Interview, Franco and Rogen have a nice dynamic with the former playing half homosexual/half debauched soul as the flamboyant, dim witted TV personality who gets celebrities to open up to him and the former being the straight guy looking for a little credibility.  There's dick, fart and homosexual jokes galore but nothing too offensive and they're delivered with such zeal that you can't help but laugh.  Skylark's constant use of "Ain'ters gonna ain't" and "they hate us cause they ain't us" are sure to become this years "Don't be a don'ter, do be a doer" and "I'm a doer!" here on Dammaged Goods.

Surprisingly, there's some well shot action in the piece with a tank, helicopter, troops, etc so maybe we'll see Rogen and Goldberg being handed the reigns to a big budget action comedy someday.  The trailers give away many of the cameos but there's a great one at the start I had no idea was coming.  I was actually surprised at the lack of cameos given how many famous faces showed up in This Is The End but I guess there's not much you can do when half the film takes place in North Korea. 

While the situation with Sony is truly shitty and I'm eagerly awaiting to find out who really hacked them, it turned a regular night at the movies into one hell of a special event.  U-S-A!  U-S-A!

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