Projector Special: The Interview

Film Brain looks at the events that led to the cancellation of the release of “The Interview” and what could be done now, and the effects this may have on the rest of Hollywood.

About Film Brain

"Bad Movie Beatdown" takes a look at the very worst that Hollywood has to offer with commentary and analysis. "Projector" is reviews of current UK releases that have yet to open in the US. There may also be some commentaries and other material.


  1. Great video, Matthew! I totally agree with you. This is just an all-around terrible situation. And I also hope it doesn’t affect creative freedom in Hollywood or in entertainment in general.

  2. I’m not a fan of Seth Rogan at all, but even I would go see this movie if it got a release or pay for it on demand. Just because I have an extreme hatred of censorship and this kind of thing makes me really mad.

  3. You can’t see it but I am pumping the air with my fist right now Film Brain. I totally agree that we cannot allow terrorists and dictators to control what type of movies we watch and I would gladly pirate the movie if only to them the middle finger.

  4. We need to demand Sony pictures and theater owners screen this movie in theaters threats or no threats and the government and all major media outlets arrange a media blackout about further information leaks (they should done that weeks ago ago instead of acting like complete tools). And then we need to go out and see this movie in droves. This bigger than the bottomline of a industry we need to answer this cowardly blackmail with determination we need to send a message that we will not have our freedom infringed from afar by a corrupt regime so weak it can’t have itself depicted in a unflattering light.

  5. I totally agree with you, FilmBrain.

    Whenever this movie does get a release, I’ll be there…even though it probably isn’t very good. Ironic that a movie to cause such an international stir is a Seth Rogan comedy.

  6. It’s interesting that you brought up Trey and Matt’s Team America, since South Park had their own network censor episodes after terrorist threats when they simply showed Muhammad. How horrible is it that with the slightest hint of a threat, even comedies can be shut down and blocked. We should have the safety and freedom to watch what we want.

  7. Movies are made for entertainment and nothing else. I understand what Korea is going at when they are upset over their leader being killed, but I think they seriously need to grow a sense of humour. It’s just a movie, and a silly comedy at that. People aren’t going into this film wanting to kill Kim Jung On, but instead wanting to just have a good time and be entertained, which I’m sure would have been what would have happened if the movie was released on schedule, and it probably would have been at least good.

  8. I just saw your Projector about The Interview and you did a really nice job and a agree with you all the way but I would have ended the episode like this

  9. I had no interest in seeing this movie, mostly because I hate the raunchy humor Seth Rogan movies are too often riddled with, but now I want to see it in theaters just out of spite.

  10. Never heard of the movie before it was cancelled.
    Doesn’t sound like anything I’d want to watch.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if this was a marketing ploy.

  11. When I first heard of this movie, I knew it was going to be incredibly stupid but wanted to go see it based on the premise alone. Now that the film has been censored and repressed, I will definitely be buying this film, in whatever form it comes out in. I know a large group of people who will join me.

    It is infuriating that freedom of expression could be taken away, especially in the western world where that concept is worshiped, and supposedly, enshrined. We need that freedom for the worldwide flow of ideas to continue so that it may further improve the condition of the human race. The exploration of ideas gives us advancements in education, medicine, government, business, and other fields, which all affect the quality of life that people have. It has been proven, time and again, that the freest countries are the wealthiest, healthiest, and happiest; The people in the most repressed countries know the worst misery, fear and pain. People from those hellish countries will die trying to come to wealthy and independent nations, just to have the right to live as a human being.

    So, yes, I will be standing in line to watch a stupid 1-star comedy; I will be plunking down $13 on a movie ticket and $20 on artery-hardening buttery popcorn, several times if I can swing it; I will be buying a tricked out Blu-ray, or watching the movie on VOD multiple times; However this movie is released, I will be there because freedom of expression is worth fighting for.

    In the meantime, I’m off to watch another similar movie which I find simultaneously fucking stupid and hilarious: America, fuck yeah!

  12. Great video, Film Brain. It really helps sink in how dire of a situation it is when freedom of expression can be shut down by a foreign entity and a faceless cabal on the internet. I’m not really a Seth Rogen fan, but the concept of the movie had me interested enough to go see it. Team America is probably the best comparative counterpoint, since the advertising involved made everyone, from Rogen and Franco’s characters, to the North Korean government, to the CIA, look ridiculous. In short, a perfect farce. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who remembers “Death of a President”, and I think I’ve lost count of how many pieces of media I saw during the W years that killed him off (or at least an obvious facsimile) for no other reason than that they hated the guy.

    I can’t blame Sony or theater chains for pulling the movie from cinema release. The threat of physical violence should always be taken seriously, especially when backed up by hostile action already taken online. A VOD release could have been a good option, but it still would have put the livelihoods and perhaps the lives of Sony employees at risk, given that the hackers had already released financial and personal information on people not even involved with the film. I think the only thing to do now is take note of who comes out in support of releasing this film and who remains silent. Freedom of speech is the bread and butter of artists and journalists of every kind, and seeing who comes to its defense should be informative.

  13. Wait… I thought they say they were now trying to release the film? Did I miss something?

  14. Thank you, sir, for making this video response to what is an utterly deplorable situation. Submitting to such threats in such a manner strikes not only freedom with releasing Hollywood productions, but any sort of related material that could be damning for those who would submit such threats. What if such a situation occurred with a program such as, say, PBS’ Frontline, which I recall did an investigative report regarding the police state in North Korea, exactly how delusional and repulsive it was, and the plight of those who do try to flee. Imagine if such a program caved to such threats? Honest reporting and free speech in visual media is already struggling enough from more domestic roadblocks.

  15. This is a Great message about censorship and terrorism, but There’s one major problem with your argument; North Korea had nothing to do with the Sony Hacks! The whole thing with “The Interview” and the threats against the movie theaters is nothing more than a Red Herring used by the Hackers to cover their trail.

    • If you look at ALL of the current evidence, you’ll notice that most of the messages left by the So-called Guardians of Peace, as well as the information that was taken, has nothing to do with “The Interview,” or the nation of North Korea itself.

    • In fact, it was reported that days before the hack, the GoP had sent messages to Sony Execs, demanding Money. Not that they pull “The Interview,” or any involving “The Interview,” but flat out extortion (which I believe has actually the first in a series Red Herrings, but I’m just speculating). I sincerely doubt that North Korea would do this.

    • There’s also the issue of the various emails that have been leaked. These, of course, involve the “Angelina Jolie is a Brat” email, the “Talk to Obama about black movies” email, the “Alex Trabek threatening to quit Jeopardy” email, and various others. There was also the leak about the future of the Spider-Man movies. This doesn’t sound like anything North Korea even remotely cares about.

    • It should also be noted that it was neither Sony, one the GoP, that was the first to mention anything about “The Interview,” or any possible involvement on the part of North Korea, but rather the media itself. The big 24 hour news networks saw a possible connection, thought it’d make a much more interesting story, and just ran with it. You’ll notice that it was when they started doing that is when the GoP’s overall narrative started to change towards that of “The Interview.” Once again, this was the Red Herring, meant to throw everyone off, and draw attention to the wrong people. And it worked!

    • The truth is North Korea can’t be behind this, as the are incapable of performing such a large scale and well executed hack. The whole country’s Internet system, which I should mention its citizens have extremely limited access to, is ran on only one server. This is how the North Korean government is able to control what content is able to get in, and out, of the country. When the GoP hacked into Sony, they took, not gigabytes, but terabytes of data. One server alone could not store and process that the amount of data that was taken from Sony. If this was attempted, the server would crash, and the whole country’s system would shut down.

    • In my opinion, which I am 99.9% sure is correct, the Guardians of Peace are neither North Korean, nor are they related to North Korea, but are Anonymous, or rather an Anonymous-like group. This whole incident has Anonymous’ modus operandi written all over this. In my opinion, this whole incident is either the result of some personal gripe these hackers have with Sony (possibly connected to the recent shutdown of Pirate Bay), or, as is sometimes the case with Anonymous, simply for Lulz.

  16. I just want to say that anyone who supports this movie or plans on seeing it should be punished to the fullest extent of whatever the north korean government can do most prefurably through carpet bombing you know just to spite america for trying to insult a nation far greater than itself. Also dont you think the saftey of the public is far more important than freedom of speech? something that the american government only protects when it seems convenient for themselves. Don’t take this comment as a logical argument because its not I’m not up to date with this situation, only today did i even find out about this movie. I just have serious issue with america feeling it has the right to act howevr it chooses without reprecusion because its government has laid down the foundation for such a supercilious personality. Well guess what? america like any other nation can be attacked and even destroyed and in this case destruction would seem the most fitting punishment for certain actions taken by the majority of americans. Obviously I’m not serious about the destuction part I’m just frustrated at how people have been reacting to such a silly predicament, and wish the public and media would look at this situation a little less vindictively.

    • I agree that a silly little comedy isn’t worth the lives of innocents, however there’s a catch-22. While there was a terroristic threat made that caused the movie to be pulled down as a safety precaution, it’s also something else. It’s a signal for other hacker groups that they CAN get what they want via cyber-terrorist acts like this. This movie getting pulled may suggest to others to perform similar acts for less reason just because now they feel empowered. There’s a reason why the US Government for the longest time refused to negotiate with terrorists. I’m worried about how this might spread, and how many other innocent people will get caught in the crossfire in our heavily integrated culture.

    • Those who give up freedom for temporary safety shall lose both and have neither. If we give in, we’re telling them that we will let them control us and our media. We’ll open the censorship floodgates because of some poorly worded threats from a nation so backwards they don’t know what Rock music is. North Korea should never win at anything. The only reason they even still exist is because China doesn’t want a sudden glut of new immigrants.

      Furthermore, how is this any different than the many, many tantrums North Korea has thrown up to now? We should just do what we normally do: ignore them then throw them a cookie and force them to listen to K-Pop if they get too loud.

  17. On the one hand, North Korea curbing our freedom of speech is a bad sign. On the other, the trailer for this movie had such horrifically bad/shallow jokes in it, that I can’t help but feel like North Korea has just removed a bomb from our theaters.

    That and making a movie involving the assassination of a real person of another country is in real poor taste. Not just that, the trailer shows that the two idiots don’t even know what a tiger is, showing their their actually stupider then a kindergarten, is that comedy? Seeing retards run around stuffing things up their butt?

  18. Preach on brother Brain!

    You tell those censoring terrorist where they can stick their bullying cowardice!
    I say if the major movie studios who enjoy utilizing the freedom of speech amendment until someone threatens their companies are too scared to make films satirizing North Korea then all you Internet Critics should get together and do it. Make another collaboration film like “To Boldly Flee” but this time the subject should be the tyrannical oppression of North Korea and Internet Terrorists! Or if a collaboration is out of the question then all of you critics should make your own individual films making fun of Kim Jong Un. Show’em how it’s done! Show’em what people who truly believe in freedom are capable of! I for one would support you guys!

  19. All it takes is to say 9/11 to stop films?

    This whole thing is terrible for the future of art.

  20. I can totally agree. If it ever comes out in some way, I’ll pay for a damn copy just as a Fuck You to North Korea.

  21. CheesecakeSeptember

    I have a feeling this is going to lead to some pretty heavy corporate espionage. You don’t want your competitor to release a movie? Hire some hackers to mimic the “GoP” and BAM, movie pulled. The fact that, in this day and age, there are still major hacks into large corporations is ridiculous. Don’t any of these companies hire digital security experts? I’m not just talking about Sony but the hack of a lot of grocery chains, banks and hardware stores in the US. I mean, I kind of see how this happens. I work for a grocery store chain that still runs all it’s software on Windows XP which is about the least secure OS still widely used. Things like this in the US happen because Corporations are just too cheap to buy legitimate security so they don’t actually do anything until something happens. As is the Corporate American way, apparently.

    I remember the day this was pulled (and the day after too), they were still playing the trailer for the movie on TV and quite often. I found it rather odd that they wouldn’t have pulled it right away. I think my local theater didn’t pull the movie and still offers to play it if allowed but it’s privately owned so that’s not surprising. The movie theater in the next town was an AMC theater so it was pulled.

  22. In all honesty, I had no idea what this film was until watching this video and now I know it makes me rather terrified for how things could progress, especially as a writer of speculative fiction. The amount of chokeholds such censorship could place on both current and future writers is dangerous to say the least. Hopefully things will get fixed and they can declare that massive “fuck you” to N.Korea and the GoP.

  23. Good video, interesting considerations.
    Pretty sure though that the only people who believe North Korea could have pulled off the hack are the north koreans themselves and the americans, who have lost their minds (and morals) from fear over a decade ago. Seriously, Iran and Iraq might have made for vague threats, albeit feeble ones, but North Korea? Where students have to somehow doublethink scientific truths and obvious fantasies about their leaders? I’ll believe they did it when I see it (figuratively speaking). I have to admit, even though betraying your ideals has become a time-honored activity in the US, this is a new low.

    • P.S.: Actually I take that last part back. Torture and the death penalty is what excludes the country from the civilized world, but there was considerable political denial involved. This cave-in was just much more blatant, the denial about how North Korea just shamed the “leaders of the free world” will surely follow (and I still don’t believe they did it).

  24. What if this is all just a publicity stunt? Interest in this movie has been much higher than before.
    Somehow it seems so farfetched that anyone in the US would take threats from North Korea seriously.

    On a side note: Imagine somebody in Iraq made a movie about two guys sent out to kill Barack Obama. And now tell me noone in the US would be offended.
    I’m not saying I approve of censorship. I’m saying that this whole “worship of leaders” is not an exclusive phenomenon to North Korea. It might be more subtle in the US. But considering how much those people revere their founding fathers and past presidents, to an extent that resembles the worship of saints in the church, maybe the US-media should be a little bit more self aware and start cleaning in their own backyard before condemning other nations for doing the same thing (if only a bit more intensely).

    • Actually they do make propaganda movies about that sort of thing all the time. They even have their own versions of characters like Mickey Mouse and Big Bird for the propaganda movies made for the kiddos.

  25. I’m going to make a joke here and state that I believe any film featuring Seth Rogan to be an act of war, but that’s just me.

    If the Hackers are Korean then why do they have an english name? Could just be a group of Americans that put the shut down on the project because they’re taking the threat of war seriously and don’t want to see that happen. On top of that, doesn’t America have it’s own hackers? Why aren’t they doing anything about this entire situation? Fight fire with fire, hackers with hackers.

  26. This needed to be said, Film Brain, so thank you. Real threat or not, we’re talking about a film made with Franco and Rogen, the duo from movies like “Pineapple Express” to “This is the End.”They’re not meant to be taken seriously, so how this would get such a negative reaction only proves that these threats were made to gain power in the U.S. media. Being able to control what they put out with a couple messages, they want to gain dominance here, and they got it because we’re too afraid of attacks. I can understand the fear, but a terrorist attack due to a comedy film just sits ridiculously in my book.

    This will only stifle creative arts, all with a couple of threatening words, and I’m rather disappointed.

  27. THANK YOU. WELL DONE. ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU. I would not have ever wanted to see this movie until it was pulled to dictate what we can watch. I normally hate Seth Rogan’s movies, but I find Kim Jong Un to be reprehensible.

  28. The fact that passwords were stored in plaintext (which I have griped about before) and that several certificates had passwords that were, quite literally, “password,” makes me lose a lot of sympathy for Sony.

    You cannot on one side say, “Good IT staff is too expensive” and then on other say, “I can’t believe our IT guys screwed up so much!” unless you live in a fantasy world where money and talent are not connected.

  29. I’m sure that in the near future, SONY will finally release that movie and it will end up making a lot more money than it would have made otherwise.

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