The Interview: We're All Suckers
Hey, I've got a great idea for a movie! Remember the hilarious 1997 political satire Wag the Dog with Dustin Hoffman and Robert de Niro? What if we put those same spin doctors in charge of a movie's marketing campaign? We'll make up a fake hacker war that "leaks" a bunch of "private" data to the public, inadvertently stirs up a small international scuffle, and creates drama over whether a certain turkey movie will be shown or not, all to drum up public sympathy for a movie that, on its own, would molder in the 99-cent DVD bin at Dollar General.
Wait, we already did that one?
When I tell people this theory, they smile and laugh. Oh, Pete, you're such a kidder! But why would Sony do this to themselves? Sony lost barrels full of money on this fiasco, The Interview was still a flop, and the company's in more hot water than it can bail itself out of for years yet. Surely, Sony has done some stupid things in the past, but they couldn't possibly be that stuuuu... huh... wait a minute...
Yeah, remember Rootkit-gate? If I told you before the fact that Sony would do that, you wouldn't have believed me then either.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, these are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed:
- November 24th, the Monday before Thanksgiving, mysterious forces as yet unknown hack into Sony's systems.
- The story starts breaking on the mainstream media right on Black Friday. Originally it was hand-wringing about stolen data.
- Still Black Friday weekend, The Interview becomes the focus of the story.
But these "Guardians of Peace" are not where the threats against The Interview originated either!
- No, North Korean officials were already making threats about the movie way back in June 2014! Funny, how come it wasn't a story then?
- So we get two weeks of chest-beating, blah blah, threats to theaters, movie pulled, maybe we'll show Team America instead, nope, wait, we'll show it anyway.
Oh, let's not forget the various sideshow acts in this circus:
- Everybody from George Clooney to the Prez Himself made big harrumphing speeches about how bad it was that Sony pulled the movie.
- Oh, yeah, at one point Hustler founder Larry Flint jumped on the bandwagon to vow a revenge-porn porn flick in revenge for The Interview's crib death. We're still waiting, Larry!
But here's the choker: This alleged hacking group allegedly responsible for the attack and allegedly making threats if Sony released the interview? These same hackers released a statement saying that Sony can screen the movie anyway, because they thought Sony had "suffered enough." Because, I guess, the Grinch's heart grew three sizes bigger...
Six convenient days before box office tickets went on sale.
No, I have nothing to prove that this is a viral marketing hoax on Sony's part.
But you'd have to be blind and stupid to say this doesn't look suspicious as hell.
So far, The Interview is rated at a solid "meh" with a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. The reviews range from "I'm scared to say anything bad about this movie for fear of provoking the Internet's wrath" to "Damn the torches and pitchforks, this movie sucks."
And just think, if it hadn't been for the Guardians of Peace invoking the Streisand effect, you never would have known this movie existed.
But the real-life story around the movie, that right there is one damned good movie.
All together Statler and Waldorf: "North Korea tried to stop us from watching this." "I wish we had listened!" Doooo-ho-ho-ho-ho!