Michael Maiello's picture

    The Big Hollywood Crack Up

    Initially, when Sony announced it was yanking the premiere of the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview I thought that Sony's marketing people had come up with a way to make lemonade out of the hacking situation.  The media giant could easily cut deals with Amazon, Netflix and the larger cable companies to stream the movie so great that North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un sent terrorists to stop you from seeing it.  

    Nothing makes you want to watch something more than bad people trying to stop you from seeing it.  People have read The Satanic Verses over less.  Extremist Catholics sold lots of tickets for The Last Temptation of Christ.  What's black and white and was destroyed by the internet?  The balance sheet of a newspaper company.  What's black and white and the talk of the town? A Dutch newspaper with a Prophet Mohammed political cartoon.    

    Obviously, Sony's marketing people have been around the block.  They must have noticed the opportunity here.  Today, they can even neutralize the threat of violence at movie theaters by harnessing the very technology that is slowly killing the movie theater business.  Were I on the Sony marketing team, I'd be pushing for some giant Sunday night event where we encourage people to gather in their homes, stream the movie and order takeout Korean food.  But I don't market for Sony.  I market hedge funds.  We don't stop even when the whole country hates us.

    Well, it seems like Sony is taking a pass on the opportunity to get us to all watch a movie that we otherwise wouldn't have been interested in.  Sony has backed off from the Guardians of Peace like Ronan the Accuser after getting trounced by the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Sony is in full panic.

    I didn't know corporations could panic.  I thought only people and Lehman Brothers could panic.  Corporations and people, brother.  

    Sometimes you have to hand it to Texas. It's annoying then they want to secede from the union but sometimes they prove they're on Team America. Oh, wait... Paramount says no.

    Meanwhile, as Boko Haram kills and kidnaps hundreds of people in Nigeria, CNN reports that Washington is "outraged" over Sony's decision.  This morning I saw Newt Gingrich on CNN calling Sony a bunch of cowards.  Newt Gingrich!  He blamed Obama for this, too, for being a wuss.  If the President of the United States won't stand up for this country's Japan-based multimedia entertainment conglomerates, what will he stand for?

    If anyone needs me, I'll be on the couch, watching The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed, the Cartoon Musical.





    Very good, Mike.

    Hell, I haven't been in a movie theater in 20 years. Can't stand the public. Last time I went Annie Hall sat in front of me all.drenched in patchouli oil. Who cares about Sony pictures in movie theaters. I'm streaming my ass off. Hey, wait a minute, the Blue Ray is reprogramming itself and i can't watch Alpha House. Crap, the F%%king DVD is made by Sony. I don't care, I'll just sit here. Day dreaming. The end.

    Please start a serious discussion of these events, the equivalent of an attack on the homeland, here:



    Entertainment like this banned film ​nor cartoons that are offensive, should  have a place in civilized cultures.   

    Maybe something good can come from this?.

    We don’t need to be making jokes about assassinating other peoples DEAR leaders.

    Are we that sick of a society?

    It seems most aspects of our entertainment is debased and then excused  as Freedom…  Freedom to offend moral values.

    Philippians 4:8-9

    ……… whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and w received and heard and seen  xin me—practice these things, and y the God of peace will be with you.

    Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible


    Little unclear about what good you think can come from the pulling of this film.  


    Reap what you sow.   Denounce All unwanted characteristics ………… Don't promote them.

    Remove the weeds and thistles if you want a better environment in which to grow. 

    Quit PROMOTING  and SUPPORTING films, that promote what it is, you don’t want society to become.

    Civilization needs the Freedom from those who promote  …….. Cruel, savage, brutal, beastly, vicious, ruthless, perverted, perverse, inhuman, barbarous, fiendish.  Actions

    If a Nation entertains these thoughts, don’t be surprised if that is what society reaps 

    "A debacle worse than Ishtar."

    Hilarious cluster muck, probably funnier than the movie itself. Too bad email wasn't around at the time.

    But we need to get serious. Maybe MacArthur was right, with the 50 atom bombs he wanted to spread across the Yalu. I mean, we can't let this kind of crap go down. And where is Wolfie when you need him?

    Following the presentation of Inglorious Bastards, this psychopath dressed up in a full metal jacket and killed many, many people at a cineplex.

    Even I saw some connection.

    This is scary stuff, to be sure.

    Now if some idiot publishes a book explaining how to build the perfect bomb? Well some line was crossed.

    I just know that if I owned a string of movie theatres and I was bombarded with threats to the public, I might think twice about showing this  film.

    I read stuff like this and the right wing of my brain calls for nuking NK?

    One article at Salon called for the producers to put the film on line.

    But millions of bucks and thousands of human hours are at stake.

    This is a tough decision and I am glad that I am not in charge1




    Given what other corporations have done, can we expect iTunes, Hulu, or Netflix to risk a cyberattack by streaming the film?

    I have these tech probs so I will begin again.

    I have Hulu because I got mad at Netflix.

    What can they do?

    But if I am in a theater, these psychos can kill me!

    Virtual vs virtual?

    When do we submit to terrorist threats?

    I had more but I lost my thought?

    I always lose my thought anyway. hahahah

    Michael dear,

    People are thinking you are doing satire here but I can vouch for you.

    I saw it all last night on MSNBC or CNN, I had ithem on for hours in the background doing an all-nighter on some deadlines. Yes, I did really see lots of first-amendment peeps screeching about the end of free speech and death of civilization, book burning et.al. Even Carl Bernstein chastising all media for not focusing on "the real story." instead of focusing on the gossip.

    DRAMA QUEENS ALL! And are they really that naive? Do they not have a cynical bone in their body? Maybe they desperately need to read some of that gossip!

    I'd pretty much label myself a first amendment absolutist.

    But geeezz...hello...hello...this is a Hollywood movie. Yes, zactly: Marketing. Whatever Sony decides to do is what will eventually help the bottom line. Guaranteed. I don't buy that you will never see this movie, Michael. Just not now. But you will be able to spend money on it, I am pretty sure.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the next hacking shows Sony email that says: let's not look a gift horse in the mouth, the more we hold back this film, the more we will make; discuss among yourselves. OK, I will give them that they probably wouldn't purposefully show a film under serious threat of theaters being bombed, but you know what, I'm not 100% sure about that, if the amount of tickets sold would trump the liability costs.

    But let's go beyond smearing Hollywood as so bourgeois.

    You talk about The Last Temptation.

    I'll take you beyond that to visual art, see Guiliani vs. elephant dung Chris Offli causing museum lines around the block. Same for Serrano's Piss Christ. Other artists dream of the day this will happen to them. This is what you want when you are an High Artist in a capitalist society, this is what you do. You want threats of being muzzled; you play the threatened free speech card! And get back: attention! major buzzzz.

    I'm sure you're right, Double A.  Sony can pick its moment.  Whenever they decide to release this thing, in whatever format, it will be a major news event, full of free publicity and I'm sure Sony will make more money and a bigger splash than it otherwise would have.

    One of the funnier leaks were details about how Sony persuaded the New York Times not to run a story about how, decades later, Sony had finally broken even on Ishtar.  That seemed legitimate news from the hack, to me.  Not about Ishtar but about Sony's manipulation of the press that covers it.  So meta.

    As for the high artists... An NEA grant would be nice but to have an NEA grant publicly pulled because of a politician's fit can be star-making.  I wonder if Rudy ever asked Offli for a commission? 

    Now that I understand the post wasn't satire surprisebut a riff on publicity stunts in Hollywood and outrages in the art scenecool, it behooves me to note the publicity currencies which are relevant yesto the Sony hacks, follow-on hysteria, and decision to pull the film from theaters. Home Grown Weirdo currency as well as one-upmanship currency are in play here and have real world consequences.

    It's anyone's guess where the hacks originated, there may be multiple sources, and NK may be involved, but the publicity currency of hackers is who is the best. As this fiasco escalates, more sophisticated attempts will be made---on Sony, if possible, or other media companies. Granted, DVD's could be released and you city folks only have to walk next door to get one. Me, I'm in the boon docks here, my life line to this medium and any entertainment whatsoever above the level of Judge Judy is a line of site internet transceiver that looks at  top of a water tower a thousand yards away. If more sophisticated hackers screw with Sony servers which operate my several internet ready DVD Blue Ray players(or for that matter any more of my damn credit or debit cards), that is a real world threat to me. So frankly, I'd just as soon have the whole thing de-escalate by nixing the public showings of the film and even the DVD releases.

    If the public screenings of the film were to happen the major threat would not be from NK or lots of brands of off-shore hackers, but from our own homegrown freaks with guns, the hub of the universe nuts who see in the media hysteria a connection to some kind of hate they are nurturing and walk into a movie theater with a loaded gun. The publicity they know they'll get from the killings is the currency which matters to them. 

    Damn my Sony Blue Ray player wants to re-program itself for the second time in two days. WTF?


    If the President of the United States won't stand up for this country's Japan-based multimedia entertainment conglomerates, what will he stand for?

    That brought me to tears, we were warned about the Axis of Evil.

    George W. Bush, the greatest the best most honest and humble President we have ever had who sought nothing but to protect us said: "press on.  We have known freedom's price.  We have shown freedom's power.  And in this great conflict, my fellow Americans, we will see freedom's victory".

    Only by electing Jeb in 2016 can we realize that victory friends. The road to Damascus starts in Pingpangpong.

    Stand with me against the Hackses of Evil!

    A great Dagger (RD) would agree when I say that is nominated for comment award winner of the day (I can see it as a headline on The NY Post...not I guess, derogatory to The Decider and the GOP, maybe what's that site, the Onion?):


    Yeah, I can go along with that.

    Sometimes I wish I knew what Mike M is drinking...or smoking or...

    The Hackses of Evil--very nice, Maiello!

    Ed Snowden's early April Fool's prank?

    I can see April 1st from my house!

    This was, of course, the first issue broached at President Obama's year-end press conference. He was unambiguous regarding Sony: "I think they made a mistake", and "I wish they had talked to me first". I was surprised, because I expected him to dodge it with some remark about a private company making their own decision, etc. Since the FBI has confirmed that the hack(s) were state sponsored, he seemed genuinely pissed - almost as much at Sony as North Korea.

    Fox News: "Obama continues his Dictatorship. Usurps right of company CEO's to make their own decisions."

    Well it is about some goddamn time that somebody attempted to usurp the powers of CEOS.

     Hey Mike . . .

    CNET - 3 hours ago

    Sony to release 'The Interview' after all? (note the question mark)

    The movie giant said in a statement Friday it is considering releasing the controversial film, two days after announcing its cancellation. "It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so," said Sony Pictures in an emailed statement.



    I was thinking about you Ducky.

    If you were a PR guy, how would you handle this debacle.

    Following all this flack(is that the word?) damn, I could sell tickets  from here to Sunday?

    I mean how much advertisement do you really need to sell a film?

    I wanna see it. And I really do not care about anything. haahah

    Killing the head of NK is wonderful idea. hahahahahah

    That's all I got.

    As usual.

    Sony rolls out The Interview to 200 sites across US

    Studio expands its release plans for terror-threatened film , but cinema chains are reportedly angry with potential on-demand release

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