December 28, 2014, - 9:50 am

The Interview: Juvenile Crap w/ Some Funny Lines

By Debbie Schlussel

Reader I Am Me warned me it was bad. “It’s AWFUL. It may be the worst movie I have ever seen,” he wrote me. He paid to watch the controversial “The Interview” online, “out of some probably misplaced sense of patriotism.” I went to a theater to see it, last night.


It’s not a great movie. In fact, I agree with him that it’s somewhat crappy, although I’ve seen many far worse movies just this year, and I didn’t hate it as much as he did. It’s a low-rent movie with a lot of silliness and juvenile, crass, gross humor–the kind that appeals to teens and 20-somethings raised on a steady diet of MTV’s “Teen Moms” and assorted Kardashian Kartrashian. I’m surprised it actually cost $40 million to make because it looks more like a $4 million (or less) budget movie.

But I thought it was very funny. I will be the first to admit that I went to the movie ready to laugh, and that makes a huge difference. I laughed a lot, especially during the first third or half of the movie, probably more than anyone else in the theater where I saw it.

But the movie isn’t just a crude, low-humor vehicle for Seth Rogen and James Franco. It made a lot of good points about the low taste of America, these days. Rogen plays a serious journalist stuck producing Franco’s celebrity-culture interview show. Rogen longs to do serious stuff and be taken seriously by his colleagues at other journalism outlets. But Franco argues with him that Americans want this kind of low-brow celebrity culture. He says that the American TV-viewing public is constantly saying, “Gimme s–t, gimme s–t!” To me, that’s spot on. If it weren’t, TMZ wouldn’t have soared to become THE influential “news” source in America in just a few years. And if it weren’t true, the Kardashians would be working minimum wage jobs sweeping up hair at a salon, instead of multi-million dollar annual earners, famous for being famous.

The movie makes the point repeatedly about the dumbing down of America’s taste and description of what is journalism and news. And that’s on-target. But after that, it’s downhill. And while it makes other journalists seem more serious than the celebrity “journalists,” that simply isn’t the case anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. All three of the major network nightly news broadcasts are more than peppered with celebrity news, whether it was about Joan Rivers’ death or Bill Cosby’s alleged multiple rapes or NBC News Anchor Brian Williams’ daughter Allison’s starring role in NBC News’ live braodcast of “Peter Pan.” And “60 Minutes”–which is portrayed in the movie as a serious news program–constantly does celebrity profiles and interviews. Just last Sunday, Reese “I Am an American Citizen! [so don’t arrest me for drunk driving]” Witherspoon was profiled and interviewed on “60 Minutes.” And you know what they deliberately didn’t mention in the puff piece? Her drunk driving arrest and outrageous behavior on video. It’s as if it never happened.

Back to “The Interview.” As you probably know, the plot centers on a celebrity-obsessed interview show and its host (played by Franco) and its producer (played by Rogen). As I mentioned, Rogen wants to be taken seriously (which makes you wonder why he agreed to produce a celebrity show with a semi-dim-witted host), and the host wants to make news. Franco reads that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is a fan of his show, and he convinces Rogen to make contact with North Korea to request an interview. Once the interview is on, serious journalists are all angry, afraid that Franco is being played for a patsy (which he essentially is) by Kim. And the CIA manages to convince the duo to assassinate Kim. But when the two of them get to North Korea, Franco buys into the propaganda and is “honeypotted” (I won’t use the phrase here that they actually use in the movie) into liking Kim, and it’s up in the air whether a hard-hitting interview and the assassination will actually happen.

Amidst all the controversy about this movie, I heard many (liberal) commentators whine that Rogen and Franco and Sony shouldn’t have made a movie about killing an actual sitting world leader (which is funny because all of them were dead silent when a movie about killing President Bush, “Death of a President,” was released while he was President–read my review). I thought this movie actually humanized Kim and undersold what a madman and mass-murdering human-rights abuser he is. There were no shots of concentration camps or starving people. No scenes of citizens murdered en masse. None of that. And you have to wonder, “Is this all there is? Is this nothing of a movie really what North Korea was upset about?”

While Sony may still lose a lot of money after initially canceling the movie’s release, North Korea’s strategy over a really stupid movie was even more stupid. Had they done nothing and not released hacked messages (at least until after “The Interview” was long gone from theaters), this movie would have quickly bombed and died a quick death, unnoticed by most. It’s not a good movie, and it would have failed against relatively better Christmas-time fare. But North Korean hackers and terrorist-threat-issuers created controversy and publicity for the movie that made people want to go see it or pay to see it online. North Korea created a demand for crap–crap that isn’t really that negative against North Korea as much as it is negative against America and Americans.

Watching this movie, I didn’t even think it was original, as some claim it is. It reminded me of real-life boob Dennis Rodman traveling to hang out with Kim and singing his praises to all who would give him a forum. And it reminded me of assorted cold war movies in which we Americans are the idiots versus clever Communist dictators, such as “Spies Like Us.” And it has notes from Michael Moore’s totally unwatchable, failed attempt at a fiction movie (though all his documentaries do qualify as fiction movies), “Canadian Bacon.” Both of those movies stank, and this stinker is a doubly smelly derivative of those. There is nothing new under the sun, except for North Korea’s help in making this a questionable “must-see” movie for the masses by making it forbidden fruit. North Korean hackers turned this unworthy target into the most talked about movie of the year.

There’s nothing patriotic about this movie in which Americans are dummies (though, sadly, we often are in real life, today). The bottom line is that this movie isn’t worth the hype, and definitely not worth the ten bucks-plus and two hours of your life you’ll never get back.

Says reader I Am Me, “Not only did the movie stink, but I am now fearing the North Koreans may hack the database containing my credit card information.”

He gave me yet another reason to see it at a movie theater. And to pay for my ticket in cash.


Watch the trailer . . .

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22 Responses

I thought it was really funny and cleverly written and directed. And I ended up liking Franco and Rogan even though I had previously despised them both.

However, the most refreshing point for me was that they finally referenced the Korean practice of eating dogs which has become taboo to do in p.c. culture.

DS_ROCKS! on December 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

Bless you Debbie for enduring what we, individually, almost certainly could not.

Jack on December 28, 2014 at 11:38 am

Dennis Rodman. What a damaged & freaky poseur. I never liked that whack fool because I could smell his fakery from the planet Saturn. I hate frauds like that. Their attempts @ edgy cool always give me the douche-chills (2nd hand embarrassment). We know you’re frauds you fakers like Dennis Rodman. Stop trying so hard!

Americans, sadly, ARE so very stupid today. If Yanks would use their moribund brain cells they would see the REAL story of North Korea is a very interesting and bleak one but as DS nicely stated, they are into the Kardashian Skankerrhea so most dopey Yanks are left in the dark (figuratively…not literally as the Nork slaves are in that God-forsaken hell-hole).

This movie COULD have been very funny. Nothing is more satisfying than taking the sh** out of a hallucinating dictator who would NEVER allow even the thought of it in his goose-stepping regime. Just looking at the actor who plays that machinating meatball Kim Jong-Un makes me LOL. How disappointing.

I was so pleased DS mentioned Allison Williams. Nepotism lovers must love the fact that she was able to star in NBC’s “Peter Pan” because of “Dear Old Dad” and nothing else. You’re huffing ‘soma’ if you think she got the job due to talent.

And DS mentioned the GWB movie in perfect measure…Libtards are such effing fakers and frauds and they never fail to believe that their opponents suffer from amnesia. What an odious thing to be…a Libtard. If only we could ship the lot to North Korea. They are custom made to be Kim Jong-Un rump-swabs!

Skunky on December 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Given the quality of Hollywood fare or the lack of it – I now have had for sometime an $8 a month streaming online Netflix account.

For the cost of one over-hyped Hollywood movie, I can literally watch dozens of more movies and TV shows, all commercial free, in front of my flat screen computer monitor.

I’ve been enjoying spiritual dramas and Korean drama that one can’t get out of mainstream Hollywood. I feel that going to the movie theater just doesn’t make sense anymore.

If you have a high speed Internet connection with a modern desktop computer, you can enjoy entertainment at home. Beats the costs of driving or walking to the movie theater and you can watch on demand and even pause to make dinner or popcorn or to go to the bathroom – something you can’t do in a movie theater.

Netflix easily beats my cable TV account for value and the sheer quantity of programming offered, month after month.

NormanF on December 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I just completed the technical operation, and rented this movie from YouTube to play on TV. Thought the movie was awful and can’t imagine why the North Koreans would (a) learn about Sony’s release of the movie in the first place; (b) expose themselves to retribution by the US; (c) even care.
I subscribe to the theory that the expose/hack was designed by a disgruntled Sony employee due to be fired, and then had the tables turned when Sony got its act together and figured out how to take advantage of the marketing opportunity and garner a greater audience than they would otherwise have had with a regular release.

Richard on December 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I have not seen he movie, nor will I see it! My misgivings are more about the hype that was used to promote the movie than about the movie being ‘juvenile’ and in poor taste.

I have no proof, but I suspect the ‘North Korean’ effort to attack Sony was hatched, executed and reported in the promotion wing of the Sony Corporation!

A lousy movie can be made into a profitable movie if the promotion effort is innovative and spectacular like nothing before it.

colnzgprnts on December 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

I knew the movie would stink just from the trailers aired before the hacking. I didn’t really pay attention to it at the time. Like you said, without this incident this would have just bombed out and maybe showed up on some trashy cable channel at 3 in the morning. The problem is that they were able to do it. It had to be North Korea because anyone else would have found more important and damaging things to hack into. Maybe we should be thankful and look at this as a warning as to just what we put out on the internet and how we protect it.

Nepotism isn’t new in Hollywood. A lot of actors are there only because of family connections. It is just generally not advertised like in the Peter Pan case.

jerry d on December 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Thank you Debbie for this review. I was going to see this in the movie theaters becuase of the hype, but hadn’t yet. But now, because of this review, I will not be seeing this crappy movie. Thank you again, Debbie.

JeffE on December 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    err, I meant to say, “this in a movie theater”.

    JeffE on December 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Some computer experts have been mentioning what ‘Richard’ was pointing out about the possibility of a hacker “on the inside” of Sony doing this for whatever reason. But at the end of the day, besides the detailed plot, this was essentially a typical “stoner” movie.

Since the Bush film was brought up, let me say Obama’s complaining about Sony’s pulling the film from release was likewise hypocritical, given how he was demanding YouTube pull the badly-made video he and his minions claimed was responsible for the Benghazi bloodbath.

ConcernedPatriot on December 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Makes me happy I saw “Zlateh, the Goat,” instead. BAAAAD rendition of an Isaac Bashevis Singer story.

Occam's Tool on December 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm

The Liberals loved the movie about killing W. The heck with them. Kim should have his head blown off tomorrow, and good riddance.

Occam's Tool on December 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I was just thinking, maybe little Kim was expecting fair treatment. Maybe he forgot that he wasn’t a Muslim. After all, if he was the film would be pulled and everyone connected to Sony would have an FBI investigation on their ass. After that we would have to have a “serious” dialog about the limits of the first amendment covering “hate speech”.

jerry d on December 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm

I’m glad to read this article as well as the comments above. Maybe I will wait only to download this movie and not to watch on the big screen.

Jeremy on December 29, 2014 at 3:23 am

The Kartrashians are disgusting execrable boils on the American azz that should be lanced post haste.

Her azz is that big so she can accommodate herpes sores the size of a sand trap.

Reality TV is a sign of the apocalypse.

I am old enough to remember Bruce Jenner in the Olympics. The other day I am checking out at the grocery store and see him in a magazine in a mini skirt, make up etc. getting out of a car and making sure that the paparazzi gets a photo up his legs. The only thing these pukes haven’t done yet, is go to the zoo and have sex with the animals on film.

Jesus they are awful…

How much do you make to go see this dreck? You must take a set of “A Clockwork Orange” tooth picks with you to force your eyes open.

chuck lowe on December 29, 2014 at 7:57 am

Thank you once again Debbie for taking the hit and watching this movie. I for one am trying to catch up on all of my Christmas DVR TV shows. Finally got done watching White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. Rosemary was a babe in that movie and it’s one of my favorites. It’s funny that she’s related to that libtard girlyman George Clooney. Back to the movie. It’s also funny like you said Debbie that The Interview would’ve died a quick death at the box office but thanks to Kim Dung Un it’s gotten a lot of publicity. I bet the Norks didn’t count of the fact that out celebrity obsessed culture would go out to see this dreck.
One the other hand I watched the knuckleheaded liberals on CNN, NBC and CBS fall all over themselves about how Sony shouldn’t have made the movie making fun of the awesome N Korean leader. Yet again they cheered and had many laughs about the GWB assassination movie. Just think if Hollyweird made a movie like that about president O’ahu. Man liberals like Allison Williams old man would catch a mad case of the vapors. They would have to commit crazy Ed Shultz and watch as Rachael Maddow’s voice got deeper while little Georgie Snuffalupagus’s voice got higher. In either case I’ll pass on the spoof about the badly dressed dictating crap weasel whose barber seems to have gone to the same school as the one who cuts Donald Trumps hair.

Ken B on December 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm

There is a silver lining around this dark cloud of stupidity called “The Interview”.

A major movie studio finally realized the potential of the internets.

By streaming the flick online, Sony managed to make some decent bank on their investment.

I do feel sorry for all the megaplex owners losing a bit of business. (Does anyone really have to mortgage the f***in’ house to see one s***ty flick? F***!) But in the age of Netflix and Pirate Bay (once the source of all my entertainment needs), the Majors have to learn how to be better swimmers in the big proverbial sea of changes.

So, kudoes to Sony. Hope they can get their Playstation network s*** together, though. :p

The Reverend Jacques on December 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I doubt it was the NK’S who hacked Sony as well. They did not seem to get their panties in a wad over the Red Dawn remake.

john on December 29, 2014 at 5:55 pm

It would have been interesting had Rogen & Franco done a movie, but assassinating not a North Korean dictator, but a major Muzzie mullah – say a leader of Iran or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. Or an interview w/ Mohammed.

I’d be fascinated to see whether those 2 would have had the balls to do that.

I do think it was cheesy to show an assassination – and yeah, I thought the same thing when the BDS guys did one on Bush’s assassination

Infidel on December 29, 2014 at 8:59 pm

The wife and I orderedit on cable and we were both laughing our asses off… We thought it was funny and cleverly written.

Sophomoric, yes, but deliberately to be light hearted.

This is yet another movie review schlussel has botched – love you debbie but. Get. Out. Of. The. Review. Business!

Kirche on January 5, 2015 at 2:52 am

i think the writer of this opinion is fucking retard, the movie was entertaining and funny, it was worth the watch. sure it wasn’t a great movie but it did the job, if you can’t find the humour in the movie then you seriously take life a little to hard

Phil Collen on January 14, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Ah, steht doch da. Leider fest verbaut.

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