It Takes an Army of Two to Fill the Space In My Heart Formerly Filled by Joaquin — At Least for Now

Greetings comrades. What is all the fuss about? I am talking about the Seth Rogen movie starring James Franco that has the United States on edge, so to speak. Joaquin Phoenix Is who I usually think of when absurdist movie humor passed off as “real” enters my consciousness. After this Christmas, no more. Sorry, Joaquin. Citizens of North Korea, if you ever get the opportunity to see this controversial movie, “The Interview,” please know that the Christmas 2014 movie satirizing your nation is one of several Hollywood movies released during the holiday season. So, you might also want to watch “Selma” as an alternative.

Also, you may read this article in The New York Times about North Korea. I do not know if it sheds any more light on the controversy, or confuses the matter, even more. In addition, this article in The Financial Times, also details the new relationship between South Korea, Japan, and the United States. It is safe to say that not many ordinary people in the United States have knowledge about the country of North Korea. Although the movie, “The Interview,” represents a genre called satire, there are also elements of propaganda at work in this film.

Review

So. If you have not yet seen the latest Rogen-Franco movie “The Interview,” then you may be missing out on what may be the biggest public relations campaign, or hoax, since the H.G. Wells saga The War of the Worlds. I first heard the Wells radio play when I was a public-radio listening youngster growing up in the Appalachians — a region of the United States not known for alien invasions. (No way are aliens gonna find a place to land in our state — no flat land! Nice job, though, Mr. Wells.) I loved the radio play, and could not get over the fact that this genius had made it seem as though Martians were going to take over the world. (Ahhh!)

Fast forward to Christmas 2014. The media would have us believe that an independent movie about a head of state who is also a cultural icon, of sorts, for his hair and his enthusiasm for basketball, would be so offended as to wage war against the U.S. showing this movie. Flash forward to the last Presidential press conference of the year … Even President Obama fields questions at his end of the year press conference on the topic of censorship and freedom related to the movie The Interview. First, the media enthralled us with stories of a wild hacking incident at Sony pictures by #thegop — The Guardians of Peace.

Brilliant.

Then, there is the plot line of the movie itself: a journalist and his producer fly to China and then to Pyongyang to interview the head of state — a wildly iconic present-day figure in his own right — Kim Jong-un. Meanwhile, the United States’ F.B.I. named North Korea as the likely suspect behind the Sony hack. What? I know, right? Crazy, crazy, and awesome marketing, non? So, of course I knew I had to watch this movie, even though I feared it might be stupid. Then, I realized that I had never even seen a Rogen-Franco movie, and that all I know about them is that the duo spoofed Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in the video “Bound 2”. I only stomached the original video by the married dynamic duo once, but I watched the spoof more than once. Therefore, I felt confident that watching “The Interview” on Christmas-day with my dad and my friend from China would yield at least a moderate laugh.

I should also note that I tried to download the movie on Christmas Eve, but got a peculiar message which you can see in the photo-collage below. However, this error could have been due to the fact that I tried downloading the movie from a Mac. The next night, I tried a PC and I ba-boom!

My overall assessment of this movie?

Juvenile.

But the movie features show-stealer Diana Bang as Kim-family liaison “Sook”. So, I am happy to have only paid 5.99 to rent this movie for a total of 48-hours through YouTube. There you have it!

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