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The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea 288

First time accepted submitter twitnutttt (2958183) writes "While it has been broadly panned in the U.S. as not very funny, The Interview is surprisingly getting good reviews in China. And the North Korean government's fears of the threat posed by this movie are apparently merited: "It is powerful because it depicts Kim Jong-un as a vain, buffoonish despot, alternating between threats and weeping that he's been misunderstood. The people around him have all the signs of fear you might expect with a despot — they second-guess his likes and dislikes. Maybe he — and they — were right to fear the film. North Korean defectors sometimes smuggle USB sticks with films and soaps into the closed-off country, and there is a view in the south that these are a particularly powerful means of undermining the regime in Pyongyang. If that's so, The Interview might be a good candidate for inclusion." If you've seen the movie, and have your own reactions, please label any real spoilers out of courtesy.
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The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea

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  • Bombs in the US? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Saturday December 27, 2014 @04:41PM (#48681453)

    It may be an unfunny movie, but reports are that in the limited number of theatres it has been relieased in, the shows are sold out.

    That's hardly "bombing".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Threni ( 635302 )

      Bombing relates to how much money a movie takes, not how well it does in n cinemas. It can sell out in 100 cinemas for weeks but still bomb.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      Meh. I'm waiting for their next comedy movie, "Life of Mohammed" (working title). Should be a blast.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Based upon actual behaviour that would have to be a porn flick and even worse not only would it get banned but it would be a criminal act to own a copy, not because of any insult to religion but because of the child porn aspects of it. Seriously the Koran itself should be banned as should the bible or the Torah for any criminal actions it promotes and most definitely none of them should be given to minors until such time as they are edited and the criminal aspects removed.

    • by readin ( 838620 )

      It may be an unfunny movie, but reports are that in the limited number of theatres it has been relieased in, the shows are sold out.

      That's hardly "bombing".

      And there is more to come. I haven't seen it yet but I will make sure I see it (legally, not pirated) when I can. I'm sure most of the sales in America are coming from people with the same thought.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2014 @04:49PM (#48681493)

    This ain't charlie chaplin folks, it's a guy who built a career on man-boy humor and dick jokes. The fact that North Korea is so offended by this only confirms how absurdly immature their fearless leader really can be. A chubby Jewish guy almost toppled the whole charade with toilet humor.

    • You know, if it wasn't for the Slashdot boycott of Sony, the take would be at least double.

    • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:31PM (#48681679)

      That doesn't mean it's a good movie. Most of the sold out showings are because of the hype surrounding this incident. The reviews are pretty uniformly bad.

      People aren't flocking to it because it looked good, or because it is good. They're going mostly to spite the group that hacked Sony and North Korea.

      • by Threni ( 635302 )

        "That doesn't mean it's a good movie."

        What's that got to do with bombing? Nobody cares if a movie is any good; the people who make it only care about return on investment, then making a profit, and people who like it will like it regardless of other people's opinions.

      • Do you reviewers understand!?

        If buying a $40 3DBluray sure, but $5 movie, no.

        Teens use their friends as guides, "Hey I saw this, you gota see it", or "X was so so sad, dont waste your money"

        • When I was a kid, we read reviews, we had a free paper and we used it. Now you have so many options for free reviews that the hardest part is deciding which one you like the best, and kids don't read reviews any more?

          Either you're off your nut, or kids are actually getting dumber.

      • by readin ( 838620 )

        That doesn't mean it's a good movie. Most of the sold out showings are because of the hype surrounding this incident. The reviews are pretty uniformly bad.

        People aren't flocking to it because it looked good, or because it is good. They're going mostly to spite the group that hacked Sony and North Korea.

        The way you say "hype" makes it sounds like advertising. I suspect this isn't people saying "let's go see what all the hype is about", it's Americans saying "we're going to reward Sony for releasing the film despite Kim's hissy fit, and we're going to make it clear to Kim that you can't mess with Americans and their right to free speech.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Originally, it was to open in 3000+ theaters and gross 20-25 milions over the weekend. It's now projected to be about 2-3 million. And once all the Seth Rogen fans, and morons that think going to this shitty movie and giving their money to a corporation is an act of patriotism, or some act in defense of free speech have seen it, it will likely migrate to the bargain theaters and dvd very quickly since its unlikely for the big chains to show it having missed out on opening day receipts. Yeah, its a bomb.

    • I've seen this movie, it's not great... Just a stoner movie. That is all. It probably had a net gain from all the kerfuffle as of late, but still, I couldn't recommend it. Cohen's "The Dictator" was much better, and that wasn't amazing either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2014 @04:51PM (#48681505)

    You want a good movie mocking a dictator?

    Duck Soup. It's like a thousand times as good as the Interview.

    • I'd say Last King Of Scotland but that's hardly a comedy...

      relevance to Slashdotters: Dana Scully is in a supporting role! :)

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @04:58PM (#48681555) Homepage

    and acting was pretty bad although it was funny 1/3 of ht show. Basically it was border line Borat style shock comedy. The guy playing Kim Jong did the best acting vs the main stars.

    • Part of the problem is the length. If they had cut out twenty to thirty minutes it would have been better. There is a tolerable 90 minute movie sitting there.

  • Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by skam240 ( 789197 )

    Why do I keep seeing news agencies and the like reporting that The Interview is being "broadly panned" when it's not?

    http://www.metacritic.com/movi... [metacritic.com]
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/... [rottentomatoes.com]

    The consensus seems to be that while it's a mediocre film it's good for a few laughs.

  • Nobel? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @04:59PM (#48681563)

    "It is powerful because it depicts Kim Jong-un as a vain, buffoonish despot, alternating between threats and weeping that he's been misunderstood. The people around him have all the signs of fear you might expect with a despot â" they second-guess his likes and dislikes. Maybe he â" and they â" were right to fear the film. North Korean defectors sometimes smuggle USB sticks with films and soaps into the closed-off country, and there is a view in the south that these are a particularly powerful means of undermining the regime in Pyongyang. If that's so, The Interview might be a good candidate for inclusion."

    If nothing else, it's rather sad that Seth Rogen and James Franco are able to have a bigger impact on North Korea than sanctions and every diplomat and US president since the end of the Korean War.

    This sounds like Nobel Peace Prize buzz to me. ;-)

    • Re:Nobel? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:31PM (#48681681)

      This.

      I was watching the news the other day. They were reporting that the UN was considering what to do about Kim Jong Un and his horrid regime's human rights violations, in the wake of the Sony cyber-attack.

      The first thing that crossed my mind was: the only thing that prompted the UN to start worrying about the poor North Koreans is essentially a computer attack on some big corporation, and the damage it did to its bottom line. Before that, they really didn't give much of a shit, did they?

      The UN was really crass, both with their response and with their timing, and if it doesn't show you with glaring clarity whose interests they really have at heart, nothing else will.

      • Re:Nobel? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:53PM (#48681745) Journal

        That's utter BS. The UN released a report on human rights violations months before The Interview became a big issue. You should read it. The treatment of political prisoners (and christ, even unlucky bastards who happen to be distaff kin) is so harrowing that the only thing that really does come close was the Nazi death camps.

    • Re:Nobel? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @06:06PM (#48681799)
      I think Seth Rogen and James Franco should make dictator-mocking their shtick- they're way more likely to succeed with that strategy than anything they'll dream up by themselves. The jokes practically write themselves; in fact KJU is the only interesting character in this movie. So here are some ideas for sequels:
      • Benjamin Netanyahu: While on a trip to congratulate Netanyahu for winning a beauty pageant, Rogen and Franco realize that he won by launching missiles at all the other contestants.
      • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Rogen and Franco are held hostage by the ISIS leader until he realizes that nobody in the U.S. cares if their heads get chopped off.
      • Vladimir Putin: Rogen and Franco score an interview with the shirtless ruthless dictator. Unfortunately Franco enters the country with a dollar bill in his pocket and inadvertently causes a currency crisis. Then one day Rogen drinks tea laced with polonium 210 and things get wild.
    • by DeVilla ( 4563 )

      If nothing else, it's rather sad that Seth Rogen and James Franco are able to have a bigger impact on North Korea than sanctions and every diplomat and US president since the end of the Korean War.

      This sounds like Nobel Peace Prize buzz to me. ;-)

      It's been given for less.

  • So many people are panning this movie. Have you guys posting negative comments actually seen it, or are you just reacting to the press?

    I mean, I get it -- there's bound to be some sort of automatic counter-culture response to defend against the massive amount of press talking about how controversial and important it is.

    Yes, it's a little controversial to target an actual country and an actual leader so directly. But you know what, their message while embellished for comedic effect isn't really far off base.

  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 ( 264730 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:09PM (#48681613)

    It's a movie that includes Seth Rogen!
    What did you expect? A new Schindler's List?!?

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      It's a movie that includes Seth Rogen!
      What did you expect? A new Schindler's List?!?

      Well at this time of the year you should always check your lists twice.

  • the movie has been sold out in limited theaters
    the most pirated movie of christmas (this should be a slashdot money shot)
    the movie is funny as hell.

    I hope this article is meant to be satire

  • by coldsalmon ( 946941 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:25PM (#48681655)

    The North Korean regime's survival depends on keeping its people completely uninformed. Here's an article about how even a little bit of information about the outside world can destroy the carefully constructed myths that sustain North Korean society: http://articles.latimes.com/20... [latimes.com]

    "About two years ago, a North Korean who worked in the state fisheries division was on a boat in the Yellow Sea when his transistor radio picked up a South Korean situation comedy. The radio program featured two young women who were fighting over a parking space in their apartment complex.
    A parking space? The North Korean was astonished by the idea that there was a place with so many cars that there would be a shortage of places to park them. Although he was in his late 30s and a director of his division, he had never met anyone who owned their own car.
    The North Korean never forgot that radio show and ended up defecting to South Korea last year."

    The article is old, but I don't think things have changed much in North Korea.

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      The North Korean regime's survival depends on keeping its people completely uninformed. Here's an article about how even a little bit of information about the outside world can destroy the carefully constructed myths that sustain North Korean society: http://articles.latimes.com/20... [latimes.com]

      "About two years ago, a North Korean who worked in the state fisheries division was on a boat in the Yellow Sea when his transistor radio picked up a South Korean situation comedy. The radio program featured two young women who were fighting over a parking space in their apartment complex. A parking space? The North Korean was astonished by the idea that there was a place with so many cars that there would be a shortage of places to park them. Although he was in his late 30s and a director of his division, he had never met anyone who owned their own car. The North Korean never forgot that radio show and ended up defecting to South Korea last year."

      The article is old, but I don't think things have changed much in North Korea.

      They have. When I was there earlier this year, we got stuck in legitimate traffic jams a couple of different times. There are about 10 times as many cars on the road as there were just 5 years ago, according to the (Australian) tour guide. It is the single biggest and most visible sign of change he had seen.

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      If North Korea tries to prevent people from seeing it, it may convince those who do see it that all the implicit criticism of the regime is based on reality. (Which I suspect it largely is.)

    • Historically speaking, defectors from the Soviet Union were most utterly shocked and amazed by grocery stores.

      The idea that there could be SO MUCH FOOD that people could browse around, pick and choose, pass up fruits or vegetables as not quite pretty enough, and that the stores would routinely throw out unwanted food was simply unfathomable.

  • by JeffElkins ( 977243 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:38PM (#48681693)

    But not enough to justify a pair of full-price tickets. I will give it this; it was better than any Adam Sandler or Jim Carrey movie I've seen.

  • invade North Korea, depose the North Korean government, and depose & disarm the North Korean military, and once they stabilized it, hand it over to South Korea
    • by xlsior ( 524145 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @06:11PM (#48681811) Homepage
      invade North Korea, depose the North Korean government, and depose & disarm the North Korean military, and once they stabilized it, hand it over to South Korea

      ...Except China likes having North Korea as a buffer zone between it and the much more democratic and western-aligned South Korea. Having a crackpot dictatorship on its borders helps China's own citizens from getting to many 'crazy' ideas in their head -- "Look how great we have it here!"
    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      China should do lots of things. I'm not hold my breath on China doing any of them.

      I could say the same about a lot of countries and quite a few corporations.

    • The problem is then they would own North Korea.

      North Korea still exists because it is a mountainous wasteland that nobody particularly wants. It does not have a rich cache of resources, and can't even grow enough food to feed its people.

      China likes the buffer to South Korea. South Korea looks at all the money they'd have to spend to uplift North Korea and says, "We'll pass".

    • What South Korea should do is invade North Korea, topple their government, depose their "glorious leader", disarm their military, and then hand it over to China, saying "you're the ones who propped up their insane government and made all this mess, you get to deal with all the consequences."

  • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:47PM (#48681717)

    Felt like it took 127 hours to watch... ugh!

  • by dixonpete ( 1267776 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @05:59PM (#48681775)
    is revered as a god, I can see an awful lot of North Koreans trying to sneak a look at this movie. it could potentially be a game changer for them to see how the world looks at their perfect leader. Might even topple the government. Probably not, but one can hope.
    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      If it gives people a shared experience of criticizing or at least questioning their leadership -- well, lots of revolutions started with less.

  • ... either people that don't like slapstick comedy or people that don't like the political message of the movie.

    Actually read the bad reviews. They're like reading bad Amazon reviews... "This 20 dollar jack is no where near as good as my 400 dollar jacket... 1 star!" Or "I can't recharge my computer with this USB cable... 1 star!"... They're fucking stupid.

    They keep saying stuff like "the humor is crude"... really, you complete waste of human life? That is fucking shocking. It is a stupid screw ball comedy,

    • So, you're saying you have to be intelligent to appreciate movies like this?

      That's a rather, er, unusual point of view.

      Or perhaps the critics are the wrong kind of idiot?

      • by Copid ( 137416 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @11:38PM (#48682711)
        I think he's saying that a restaurant reviewer who goes into a burger joint and shits all over it in his review because they didn't have sushi is probably not adding much useful information to the review-o-sphere.

        I don't like most childrens movies because I'm an adult and I find them childish. But if somebody was paying me to write informative reviews and I had to review a kids' movie, I wouldn't spend a lot of time bemoaning the simplistic plot line, limited charater development or overly bright color pallette. Complaining that the latest Disney Princess movie didn't have the same set of elements that made No Country for Old Men appealing sort of misses the point. It's not even sensible enough to be considered wrong.
    • Anyway, you just need to filter the idiot reviewers from the ones that understand what genre they're reviewing.

      You mean, movies for idiots. Which suggests the question, who are these movies for? I mean, if you have to be an idiot to enjoy them, but idiots are panning them...

  • ...it's about what we've come to expect from Rogen and his pals. In parts hilarious, disgusting, inane, chaotic (well, most of it was that...), thought-provoking, puerile and brilliant. Not unlike reality.
  • The movie "suffers from" low-key and subtle humour, much appreciated in a number of different countries and cultures but not so much in the USA. (Several of these countries also spell "humor" with two U's.)
  • Submission Title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Saturday December 27, 2014 @06:47PM (#48681965) Homepage
    Is it just me who found the title for this submission a little strange, especially considering the hackers threatened to bomb the theaters which'd show the movie? I initially misread it into thinking they actually did it somehow.
  • "It depicts Kim Jong-un as a vain, buffoonish despot, alternating between threats and weeping that he's been misunderstood..."

    Yeah, I highly doubt he gives a shit about being misunderstood. The rest of it is spot on.

  • I saw it earlier today via YouTube. It certainly wasn't great, and it can't be compared with classics like "The Great Dictator" or "Duck Soup", but I was surprised how much I liked it. It was much more entertaining than either the trailer or the reviews suggested. The story was reasonably engaging, there were some good gags, the actors weren't bad, and it even had a few points to make. I always count my yawns during a movie, and FWIW, it ended up getting my highest rating of zero yawns - go figure.

    My maj



    • The movie you are looking for is Student Bodies [imdb.com].

      Ladies and gentlemen, in order to achieve an "R" rating today, a motion picture must contain full frontal nudity, graphic violence, or an explicit reference to the sex act.

  • by Nethead ( 1563 ) <joe@nethead.com> on Saturday December 27, 2014 @09:46PM (#48682475) Homepage Journal

    I've never understood this one, a blockbuster is a great movie while a bomb is a bad one. But a blockbuster [wikipedia.org] is a bomb. WTF?

  • It's very Seth Rogen driven comedy, funny at moments but most part of it smells a little like US propaganda. It depicts a smart, maniac and manipulative Kim Jung Un. Funny enough, we know CIA it's capable of trying to murder a foreign leader.

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