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I wonder if Sydney was the tipping point in Sony's decision. I also wonder how much of the decision making process happened at Sony Japan, which was worried about the movie even before the hack.

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Sony and the theaters are basically damned if you do, damned if you don't. If an attack were to happen, with an actual warning out there Sony and the theater would be getting hellfire rained down on them. The theater in Aurora is being sued because they didn't stop a madman from coming through the back door and shooting people. The suit says they should've known that could happen and had better security. It makes sense that Sony and the theaters are concerned about something actually happening and are taking the safest route possible. 

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Yeah, but do you really believe NK would (or could) launch a terrorist attack on U.S. soil? That's a declaration of war on a superpower- that would be an absolutely insane thing for them to do. I think they were bluffing, but because we didn't call their bluff, what else are hackers going to be emboldened to do now? Everyone sees that they can get whatever they want by threats of violence.

 

I think this is a really horrifying precedent that's just been set.

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Yeah, but do you really believe NK would (or could) launch a terrorist attack on U.S. soil? That's a declaration of war on a superpower- that would be an absolutely insane thing for them to do. I think they were bluffing, but because we didn't call their bluff, what else are hackers going to be emboldened to do now? Everyone sees that they can get whatever they want by threats of violence.

 

I think this is a really horrifying precedent that's just been set.

 

Maybe North Korea didn't have any attacks on US soil in the works, but a lone wolf/potential mass shooter using the situation as an opportunity to wreak havoc, especially on Christmas Day, to add to the level of infamy? I think if Aurora hadn't happened, theater owners might have been slightly less leery.

Edited by Dejana
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I guess my issue with bowing to the threats is they've now essentially created a larger problem. Sony and the theater chains are basically allowing government-sponsored cyber bullies to tell them what they are or aren't allowed to show. That precedent has now been set. What's to prevent the next random hostile government or group from hijacking the release of the next film they don't like?

Life is full of risks. No matter how many preventative measures are put in place there's always a small possibility that something terrible can happen to you when you walk into all sorts of public places but do you cease living because of it? No, because you can't live your life in fear. Apparently Sony does though.

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The latest e-mail release is a suggestion that Sony not cast any Black actors in the lead, because black actors don't sell internationally.  Specifically citing that Denzel should be blacklisted.

 

Wow, I have no words.  Seriously blacklisting black actors?  Yeah because there are so many of us that get the opportunity for lead roles in major motion pictures.  So essentially if said black actor is profitable domestically but undesirable internationally the studio shouldn't cast them in lead roles anymore.  So I guess that leaves Will Smith to star in every black lead role that Sony will make.

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I guess my issue with bowing to the threats is they've now essentially created a larger problem. Sony and the theater chains are basically allowing government-sponsored cyber bullies to tell them what they are or aren't allowed to show. That precedent has now been set. What's to prevent the next random hostile government or group from hijacking the release of the next film they don't like?

 

I wonder if this could be a new thing for non-friendly governments. Can't really cyber attack the US governments systems for fear of retaliation, and because they would probably be much more secure. So attack the computer systems of well known businesses and use that to disrupt the economy.

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AMC is launching a test of a subscription service. For $35 a month you can see a movie a day for a month (as long as you don't see the same movie more than once). 

 

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_27148900/amc-theaters-tests-movie-day-subscription-service-metro

 

I am probably to old for this, but if they had this back when I was in my 20's I would have loved this. I could totally picture a younger version of myself going to movies I know were bad just because I didn't have anything better to do, and why they hell not.

 

In that respect, I kind of wonder if Sony decided to cancel Interview's release, because they knew it would be a loss anyway. If theaters aren't going to show it anyway, why take the humiliating loss?  By canceling it themselves, Sony saves face.  But it does set a really bad precedent.

 

As far as The Interview goes, I am wondering if Sony ran the numbers and just realized that there is way more profit to be had at this point by doing a straight to DVD release. I mean even if they tried to release it some chains said they wouldn't play it. Those that did probably wouldn't get near the turn out they were hoping. If you pull it, you don't have to share any money with the theatres or do the kind of marketing they would normally do. Plus I bet when this movie does get released on DVD the sales will be way better than it would have normally been, just based on the people who wanted to see it but couldn't and those who will buy or rent it just to see what all the fuss was about.

Edited by Kel Varnsen

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I guess my issue with bowing to the threats is they've now essentially created a larger problem. Sony and the theater chains are basically allowing government-sponsored cyber bullies to tell them what they are or aren't allowed to show. That precedent has now been set. What's to prevent the next random hostile government or group from hijacking the release of the next film they don't like?

Life is full of risks. No matter how many preventative measures are put in place there's always a small possibility that something terrible can happen to you when you walk into all sorts of public places but do you cease living because of it? No, because you can't live your life in fear. Apparently Sony does though.

What's crazy to me is that they aren't even releasing it in VOD or DVD format.  I HATE the precedent, but I can sort of understand not releasing it in theaters, especially if the huge chains are saying that they won't carry the film.  But to not even release it in VOD or DVD format?  That just seems short-sighted.  They'd probably make a killing (no pun intended) right now if they released it in either one of those formats, if only for people protesting the decision not to release in theaters, or for people who wanted to see it anyway.

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I'm assuming that since Sony is still vulnerable to the hackers' attacks, they're not ready to turn around and flash the finger by releasing the film on demand. But really, how much more damage can the leaks do to the company's reputation? I agree that if they're ever going to release this movie, now's the time to do it while they have all this publicity and patriotism surrounding the film.

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  I have mixed emotions about Sony's decision to not release The Interview. While IA that they did the right thing by pulling it from theaters because of terrorist threats against those that planned to show it, not releasing it at all is not only a big mistake, it sends the wrong message-that any government in general and a dictatorship in particular that's offended by something that a studio makes can have it shut down by threatening innocent people, whether it's their livelihoods or their lives. What started out as a small controversy has snowballed into an all-consuming disaster dealing with issues like freedom of speech, privacy, racism, sexism, class, office politics, national security and terrorism.

 

  That the assholes responsible for this, who threatened to kill people who even saw the movie, dare to call themselves "Guardians Of Peace" proves that they don't know the meaning of the word. They're bullies, plain and simple. The chilling effect is undeniable. Their initial target may have been a huge corporation, but because Sony gave in to them, we're all their victims now. One of my favorite holiday rituals is going to the movies and I was planning to see The Interview as an act of defiance, just like I saw The Dark Knight Rises in the theater after the Aurora, CO shooting spree, but now these shitheads have taken that away from me and anyone else who wanted to see it, at least for the time being, and that, like the threats of violence, is unforgivable, as far as I'm concerned.  If/when these fuckers are captured and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, I hope that Sony changes their minds and releases it after all, with all the bells and whistles, including several huge premieres, giving the terrorists and their supporters the finger they so richly deserve.

Edited by DollEyes
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I understand not releasing it when the major theaters are dropping it, but like others I don't get not offering it on VOD.  It would be a great way to cut their costs, attempt to still make a profit, appease most fans who would like to see it, and an act of defiance against these terrorist claims. 

 

It really is a damned if you do damned if you don't.  I'm really worried about the precedent that this has set.

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I understand not releasing it when the major theaters are dropping it, but like others I don't get not offering it on VOD.  It would be a great way to cut their costs, attempt to still make a profit, appease most fans who would like to see it, and an act of defiance against these terrorist claims. .

 

From a writer at The Hollywood Reporter

 

 

Why did Sony scrap VOD for The Interview? Insurance, a (non-sony) source tells me. A total loss invokes full coverage, partial doesn't.

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This totally blows.  I hate that these companies are showing they can be intimidated like this.  I'd like to see them have the guts to fight back... now that they're not making money on the film they should get free digital copies all over North Korea.  They should air drop DVDs of the film over the country.

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They should air drop DVDs of the film over the country.

The people of North Korea are suffering enough, they don't need to be subjected to The Interview on top of everything else.

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The people of North Korea are suffering enough, they don't need to be subjected to The Interview on top of everything else.

 

Fair enough!  Honestly I got no stake in the film.  The Steve Carrell thriller that got cancelled probably would have had a more earnest depiction of North Korea's tyranny, and it sucks that got kiboshed as a byproduct of this.  For me it's more about opposition to the tactics used by these hackers and the studios caving to it.  The film doesn't even matter at this point... it's become a symbol for free expression whether it's worthy of holding that mantle or not.

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It's another one of the things about this incident that sounds funny, but could be quite serious. Activists have used balloons to drop propaganda in North Korea before and Pyongyang has responded by firing rounds across the border and canceling diplomatic talks.

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I do have to wonder how many North Koreans actually pick up the airdropped items, because doing so seems like a good way to either get yourself executed (at worst) or shipped off to hard labor camp (at best). 

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It is atleast, a North Korean defector in South Korea who is masterminding this. I was kind of venting/not too serious about air dropping DVDs, but if a former North Korean resident thinks its a good idea hopefully he knows what he's doing. I imagine it's risky for North Koreans to pick up an air dropped item, but it kind of speaks to the central issue of risky freedom vs being safe. Sony decided to be safe. The people of North Korea who stumble on an air dropped item have something their government won't give them: a choice.

Edited by Ronin Jackson

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An illusion of choice, at least. I'm not so sure I'd classify a situation where one option involves disproportionate retribution by the government - including having your children and your grandchildren punished for the same offense under North Korea's three-generations rule - as having an actual choice. North Koreans are technically free to yell, "Fuck Kim Jong Un!" at the top of their lungs, too, but...

 

Anyway, the new development is that the hackers are demanding that Sony remove all signs The Interview existed or more data will be released. This means no VOD, DVD, etc. release. I wonder if Sony will comply, since (in addition to the specter of legal liability) their acquiescence in not releasing the movie was probably partially motivated by the fear of more embarrassing information leaking. Maybe more than just embarrassing, but extremely sensitive. Let's see how desperate they are.

 

ETA: Wait, but another message says that The Interview can be released? I don't even know anymore. Someone's trolling... 

Edited by galax-arena

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What I don't understand is why they had to make it North Korea. Why couldn't they have had a fictional country as an obvious stand-in for North Korea, the way that Charlie Chaplin did with "The Great Dictator"? Everyone knew that Adenoid Hynkel was Adolf Hitler and that Tomainia was Germany, and the movie was made when the US wasn't involved yet in the war. So why couldn't they have taken a page from Chaplin's book? It would have been self-censoring, but it also wouldn't be causing the major issue they're having right now. I don't agree with the decision to pull the movie in all formats at all, but I am astounded at the lack of foresight the creators and producers have. Anyone with even a smidgen of knowledge of world affairs knows that the higher ups in North Korea aren't exactly known for their senses of humor.

Because modern audiences came to expect realism. however for a long time people have been saying that many shy'ed away from portraying islamic terror as neo Nazis and the CIA were substituted in their place as novels were sold to Hollywood. But then Jack Ryan did go to Russia  and fought Russians and not Freedonias and The Kingdom was set in Saudi Arabia and not Hollywood nation with a  Hollywood religion  made up for the movie. However if the FSB or Islamic State had decided to engage in cyber warfare we may have faced this threat sooner. And in the near future at least no movie will name a sitting politician,  government leader, or other identifiable group be it religious or ethnic as part of the character listing because the authoritarian's cyber warfare units will be out there to fight back.

 

In other threads I have posted that I noticed that in films meant to be global blockbusters you never saw a family with more than one child, after all we did not to upset the Chinese single child policy. And that was just to get Chinese money. Digitally changing Chinese into North Koreans for the Red Dawn remake was another example of a money grab overwhelming the artist intent. Now the threat has increased beyond getting into a single large market

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An illusion of choice, at least. I'm not so sure I'd classify a situation where one option involves disproportionate retribution by the government - including having your children and your grandchildren punished for the same offense under North Korea's three-generations rule - as having an actual choice. North Koreans are technically free to yell, "Fuck Kim Jong Un!" at the top of their lungs, too, but...

 

That is all true, but ultimately the seeds of revolution are planted by individuals making a choice, however small, to rebel and dissent regardless of the consequence.  It's too easy to say as an outsider not living under that regime, but it is true nonetheless.  The ideal revolution in North Korea would be one instigated by their own people instead of a foreign government coming in and ousting the leadership, even if the latter is more likely to achieve the desired result.  And again, none of this is meant to prop of the specific film "The Interview" as an agent of revolution.  As I said earlier it's now been thrust into a symbolic role regardless of its own merits, and likely an extremely insignificant one from the perspective of the North Korean people... but those seeds can come in any form.  The brouhaha over this film has resulted in North Korea making terrorist threats against the United States.  So North Korea has made the choice to make this film very relevant.  Let's hope that ends up being a big mistake for them some way or another.  

 

Anyway, the new development is that the hackers are demanding that Sony remove all signs The Interview existed or more data will be released. This means no VOD, DVD, etc. release. I wonder if Sony will comply, since (in addition to the specter of legal liability) their acquiescence in not releasing the movie was probably partially motivated by the fear of more embarrassing information leaking. Maybe more than just embarrassing, but extremely sensitive. Let's see how desperate they are.

 

 

 

This is exactly why Sony made a mistake acquiescing to the threats.  You can't embolden people making threats like this by acquiescing... it's a slippery slope and Sony is already sliding down it.  Yes the private emails have been embarrassing... some of it has actually been quite enlightening as far as the inner workings of Hollywood goes... as an aside I hope it results in positive change from the perspective of race/gender issues... but I think Sony can survive all that if they do positively address the things that have been leaked.  But now they are going to have to make a move to counter what they have done by acquiescing to the threats in the first place.

Edited by Ronin Jackson

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Makes me wonder now if the IS or their sympathizers will try something similar.  Movies about any aspect of the War on Terror are popular right now for both audiences and critics.  

 

Sony has now said that they "haven't caved to terrorist demands", but pulled The Interview because the major theater chains had already canceled it.  So basically, business move.  

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Sony has now said that they "haven't caved to terrorist demands", but pulled The Interview because the major theater chains had already canceled it.  So basically, business move.  

 

That seems like a dodge, though, a chicken-and-the-egg thing. Without the threat of terrorist retaliation, the studio wouldn't have had to even consider pulling The Interview, which, at best, would have been a blip on the radar and then gone. Did they cave first, or did the theaters? If they give in to the further demands to erase any evidence that the movie existed, what's next? Will Dr. Strangelove be targeted due to its parodying of the military? It does seem like a dangerous precedent to set, censorship in the name of safety, and I'm wondering what the next step will be.

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Well, now Sony is backtracking and saying they'd love to release The Interview on VOD if someone will partner with them.  Because President Obama said they made a mistake in pulling the movie at his year end press conference today.

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Did they cave first, or did the theaters?

The theaters caved first, but I don't blame them because they had a lot more to loose. To a lesser extent, they had the direct liability should something extreme happen. Sure, a terrorist attack on all 2000-something screens showing the film was highly unlikely, but because of the media circus surrounding the film, I think there was an elevated risk of some crazy person trying to capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame. I think the primary reason they canceled though was because people planning to see other movies Christmas day would possibly think twice about going. The Interview was probably going to make a decent amount of money opening day, but it wasn't going to be the main box office draw. I'm really curious to see how all this effects the Christmas box office numbers.

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  George Clooney tried to circulate a petition to get the other studios to support Sony and present a united front by showing the film, but none of them signed it, probably because they were afraid that they would be the terrorists' next targets.  

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What if theaters got the movie mislabeled as Interstewer and Into the Voods and just played them for a week? If there was no e-mail evidence to the contrary, the people at Sony could deny having any knowledge of how this happened.

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Amy Adams was going to appear on The Today Show this morning to talk about her new movie, Big Eyes, but they dropped her because she wouldn't talk about The Interview.  Really, NBC?

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Was she going to be asked about The Interview?  I though they wanted to ask her about the pay discrepancy for American Hustle.  Apparently they forgot to ask Bradley Cooper when he was promoting American Sniper...

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I believe they were going to ask her about the Sony leaks, most likely about the information on American Hustle.  I thought it was a stupid move to sideline an A list actress during award season.  Way to ensure Amy will go to Good Morning America from now on. 

 

Harvey Weinstein put out a statement supporting Amy and chastising Today for cancelling her interview. 

 

If Good Morning America is smart they have already lined up Amy for tomorrow.

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He's good with a team. And I'm not opposed to seeing Han again. I'd like it to feel like Star Trek, but we can't have everything.

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I'd like it to feel like Star Trek

That's why I'm sort of bummed, even though I adore the Fast & Furious movies. Then again, if Paramount is as hellbent on turning Star Trek into a more generic action franchise as they seem to be, they can't do much better than Justin Lin. At least he knows how to make action scenes fun as hell. 

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That could be really interesting, but I wasn't a Bridemaids fan.  I'm not thrilled at the choice of director.  I do like the actresses chosen though.  So, I'll be open minded.

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Disney will. They bought Lucasfilms for the two properties that come with it, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. They moved quickly on Star Wars and its good business to move forward on Indy. I love Chris Pratt, but I think he's a bad idea here. It's one franchise too many and people will get sick of him. A reboot makes sense and with a good script would make huge money.

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I can't believe how fast Leslie Jones is rising now.  Good for her.  I like to see perseverance pay off.  She had been working the comedy circuit for years upon years and finally got a break in her mid-40s.  It's inspiring. 

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