Now Streaming Review

The Interview not quite broadcast quality

lars logoNOPE – Now that my children are older, it’s a crap shoot what we might watch on Christmas Eve. Gone are the days when it was a given we would watch It’s a Wonderful LIfe, A Christmas Story, and The Little Drummer Boy.

Last night we gathered in my middle son’s room and watched the film the entire world has been talking about…The Interview.

We watched it on his XBOX ONE.

“They say you’re bat shit crazy,” James Franco’s talk show host Dave Skylark asks North Korean President Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park) as they shoot hoops together. He pauses with sudden seriousness and says “I am bat shit crazy…I’m 31 and am the leader of 24 million people.”

So he’s got that going for him…which is nice.

the interviewWhile I must admit that watching Franco and Kim Jong-Un listen to Katy Perry while joy riding in a tank given to The Supreme Leader by Stalin (“We pronounce it Stallone.”) was more than amusing, the film is so consistently low-brow and anal obsessed, I couldn’t help but find myself longing for the innocence of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Seth Rogen (co-director of The Interview with Evan Goldberg) and Franco have now officially taken their Hollywood bromance schtick to staggeringly offensive new heights with this one. The amount of jokes aimed directly below the belt, either about gay sex or bodily fluids, sets new records for banal cinema.

But to dismiss this effort entirely would not be fair. The film has some laughs, and even attempts to layer in some sociopolitical observations on democracy, starvation and oppression, and government controlled propaganda – when it’s not busy being completely homophobic, misogynistic, racist, and over-the-top vulgar.

An eye-opening observation that has bothered me since watching the Austin Powers franchise run itself into the box office gutter by becoming more and more moronic and crass rather than smarter, sexier, and funnier: How is that so many talented adults can gather in production meetings for months, often years, and come to a collective, creative consensus to deliver such shamelessly sophomoric drivel?

What a missed opportunity here, though. To tackle such a “controversial” subject, with so many people watching for so many different reasons, and not put all that high paid talent to better use. The film is produced very well. A lot of hard work went in to making The Interview. I only wish the adults in the room had gone over their “questions” a few more times…

Do yourself a holiday favor and watch another recent film about totalitarian governmental control called The Givernow on DVD. A film for all ages that won’t leave you questioning the current state of our cultural climate.

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