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Kimon
12-19-2014, 07:43 PM
Anyone else wondering if they will ever be able to see it?

The president did finally ridicule Sony's panicked handling of the aftermath of the hack and the accompanying physical threats. I suppose we can't completely ignore the possibility that they would have been potentially capable of doing something, but it is hard to ignore the fact that this threat was coming from North Korea and from a autocrat so silly that he seems straight out of the pages of Ian Fleming.

I would have gone to the theatre to see it. So are we just a bunch of pansies, or does anyone actually think that Sony did the right thing?

Belazamon
12-19-2014, 08:52 PM
Sony did the right thing from a business perspective, and more importantly, from a safety perspective. And not the way I see (most) people arguing.

I don't think anybody in their right minds actually believes that someone from North Korea (or somebody recruited by North Korea) would have actually attacked any US movie theaters. Sadly, that's not the entire problem. Two years ago, a nutjob shot up a movie theater for no reason and with no warning. An advance "warning" like this, as toothless as we know it is, will still put the general public on edge (even if just in the back of their minds). All it takes is one moron to set off a sparkler in a crowded theater on Christmas Day, and we have the probability of a panic, probably injuries, and a general outcry of "you knew this could happen, why didn't you do more to stop it?"

Lest you think I'm overselling this - I'm a manager of a movie theater. I've already had employees and customers express this very fear (and after the cancellation, relief that there wasn't anything to fear any more).

Of course, you can argue that the theaters (and Sony) are just afraid of being sued if something like that happens. All I know is, as the guy who is responsible for the safety of a hundred or so staff members and tens of thousands of patrons on a holiday week, that's not really my perspective.

The root argument, I guess, is "should moviegoers really be scared of this so-called 'terrorist threat' and let it keep them away from theaters?" And then we get into the media culture of fear, US culture of litigation, etc etc. But I don't think any of those arguments are on Sony's - or the theaters' - shoulders.

Uno
12-19-2014, 11:35 PM
Hmm ... well, I wouldn't want to be the one taking the risk and responsibility for something actually happening, unlikely though it seems that it would, so I find the decision at least quite understandable.

As to the general situation, I would say that Kim is a rather terrible tyrant, but he may have prevented the release of another dose of Seth Rogen's alleged humour, and that, at least, is to his credit.

Kimon
12-20-2014, 12:01 AM
Hmm ... well, I wouldn't want to be the one taking the risk and responsibility for something actually happening, unlikely though it seems that it would, so I find the decision at least quite understandable.

As to the general situation, I would say that Kim is a rather terrible tyrant, but he may have prevented the release of another dose of Seth Rogen's alleged humour, and that, at least, is to his credit.

I like Seth Rogen, and while I can obviously see Bela's point and understand his concern, this still sets a dangerous precedent, and may unfortunately leave movie producers skittish from investing in any potentially controversial topics.

Uno
12-20-2014, 12:30 AM
I like Seth Rogen, and while I can obviously see Bela's point and understand his concern, this still sets a dangerous precedent, and may unfortunately leave movie producers skittish from investing in any potentially controversial topics.

De gusto and so on, of course, but that's pretty damn odd. Regardless, I don't know that it sets a precedent, or, rather, it's not unprecedented, considering that producers (and publishers, for that matter) have tended to shy away from anything that might insult certain religious sensibilities for some time now, also for fear of violent reprisal.

GonzoTheGreat
12-20-2014, 04:35 AM
Plus, this obviously offers a way of stopping the release of any movie in the USA in the future. After all, all it takes is a bunch of anonymous threats, and then that's that.

Americans often pride themselves on not accepting government censorship, and on being willing to defend against that (using the guns they're allowed to have for just such a purpose). But apparently that only goes for censorship imposed by their own government; they are willing to bow to the North Korean censors. I often disagreed with GWB (as some of you may know) but in this case his "bring it on" seems apt. Of course, he only meant that for another country, not his own, but that's the situation I myself am in now too, so there is a clear moral equivalence.

Frenzy
12-20-2014, 04:02 PM
Part of me thinks this is all a huge publicity stunt. If it is, it's bloody brilliant.

GonzoTheGreat
12-21-2014, 04:54 AM
Part of me thinks this is all a huge publicity stunt. If it is, it's bloody brilliant.
If so, then this new Kim is a lot better at it than his ancestors were.

Belazamon
12-22-2014, 04:18 AM
Part of me thinks this is all a huge publicity stunt. If it is, it's bloody brilliant.

I think at this point we can figure that it's not. If it turns out they lied, Sony probably wouldn't survive being sued into oblivion by the US government now that they've pretty much declared this as an act of cyberterrorism by a foreign nation.

Terez
12-22-2014, 06:17 AM
Most people have dismissed that theory just based on the fact that Sony has had millions of dollars' worth of intellectual property released, including the scripts of future films, and lots of information that is damaging to employees and the company itself. It can hardly gain them more than they have lost.

DahLliA
12-22-2014, 07:44 AM
Most people have dismissed that theory just based on the fact that Sony has had millions of dollars' worth of intellectual property released, including the scripts of future films, and lots of information that is damaging to employees and the company itself. It can hardly gain them more than they have lost.

I figured most people think that the "we're cancelling the movie"-thing is Sony making the most of a bad situation.

Because there's no better way to get people to watch a movie than saying they can't.

Of course, if they release it for free that theory goes boom too :p

suttree
12-22-2014, 10:47 AM
Peter Singer said it best in relation to this "beyond the realm of stupid" response to the hack. (http://motherboard.vice.com/read/reaction-to-the-sony-hack-is-beyond-the-realm-of-stupid)


Motherboard: Let's just cut to the chase—Are these hackers terrorists? Are they cyberterrorists?
Peter W. Singer: ​ There's two layers to it now. There's the definition of terrorism and the reaction to it, which has been a combination of being both insipid and encouraging to future acts.
The first is what has already happened. Sony has labeled what happened to it as cyberterrorism and various media ​have also described it as cyber terrorism (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/12/sony_pictures_hack_why_its_perpetrators_should_be_ called_cyberterrorists.html). The reality is having your scripts posted online does not constitute a terrorist act. The FBI describes it as an 'act that results in violence.' Losing your next James Bond movie script that talks about violence is not the same thing as an act of violence.
What has happened to Sony already does not meet the definition. They're saying 'This is an act of war.' We're not going to war with North Korea over this act just because Angelina Jolie is now mad at a Sony executive. Acts of war have a different standard.
Literally, we are in the realm of beyond stupid with this.

And then we have the actual threats of violence.
This same group threatened yesterday 9/11-style incidents at any movie theatre that chose to show the movie. Here, we need to distinguish between threat and capability—the ability to steal gossipy emails from a not-so-great protected computer network is not the same thing as being able to carry out physical, 9/11-style attacks in 18,000 locations simultaneously. I can't believe I'm saying this. I can't believe I have to say this.
This group has not shown the capability to do that. Sony is rueing any association it has with the movie right now. We are not in the realm of 9/11. Did movie chains look at the reality of the threat? Or did the movie theater chains utterly cave in? This is beyond the wildest dreams of these attackers.

Belazamon
12-22-2014, 04:06 PM
I meant that Sony declared it cyberterrorism, not the US government. Sorry for not parsing my language correctly.

I also pretty much disagree with the gist of Mr. Singer's conclusions in that link you posted, for reasons I already mentioned in my first post. Doesn't really matter if the hackers have the capability to actually carry out any threats - all it takes is one idiot doing something stupid in a showing of The Interview (or a theater where it's playing), combined with the public perception of "they warned us they would do it, why didn't you prevent this from happening?!?"

Long story short, it's not the theaters that are "losing their shit," it's the general public. You can argue all day whether this would've actually kept people away, but based on conversations I've had with customers/employees, it's (anecdotally) true.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-23-2014, 02:45 AM
somewhat on the topic of cyberterrorism...

I recently went to an event called Girl Geek Dinner, which was not exclusively for women but the majority were; and the speakers were all female. The aim was to discuss interesting things about the world of IT... Anyways, one of the speakers was a NATO diplomat focusing on cyberthreats. She started her speech with "Obviously I cannot tell you very much about my job but let's discuss some of the more public events". So she took us through the Snowden thing, the Stuxnet virus and the Estonian events of 2007 (that was hilarious btw, she asked if anyone knew anything about those, and I stuck my hand up - I was the only one, apparently - and she asked how I knew... heheheh). Anyways, as part of the Stuxnet discussion, she said something quite disturbing: Since there are no regulations, no laws to govern these sorts of things, it's currently a free-for-all of cyber armament. Governments are spending stupid amounts of money on really sophisticated pieces of software. Compared to what is now being made, Stuxnet was just a little prank. You might think that cyber attacks don't cause as many (civilian) casualties as bullets and bombs but you'd be wrong. It only takes 3 days of absolute lack of communication for any country to start breaking into rioting and looting. In the case of the Netherlands, there was recently a bit of news released that the SCADA system (used for remote operating and monitoring large engineering installations) of the sluices and dams had their passwords set for years and years at standard, and the passwords were kept in a folder called "passwords". I would hope that they've fixed that by now, but even if they have, SCADA systems are notoriously antiquated because nobody ever thinks they're important. Because they're not flashy and shiny.

Now, with Sony, they had the PlayStation debacle, what was it - a year ago or two? I'm sure there have been people hard at work making things more secure. Further, something that isn't mentioned much with this particular issue is that Sony Corporation is a Japanese company, which gives this discussion another dimension. This was not an attack at Hollywood, this was an attack from North Korea at a huge Japanese company; Hollywood is just collateral damage - useful one though, as it gets so much global attention, thus making the original attack more powerful.

Davian93
12-23-2014, 08:36 AM
Oddly enough, NK's entire internet service was taken out yesterday in what was surely a complete coincidence.

This was not an attack at Hollywood, this was an attack from North Korea at a huge Japanese company; Hollywood is just collateral damage - useful one though, as it gets so much global attention, thus making the original attack more powerful.

Technically, Sony Pictures is an American company which is a subsidiary of the Japanese parent company.


Just like I used to work for a company called BAE Systems North America which was legally an American company that was a subsidiary of its British parent company.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-23-2014, 09:21 AM
eh. yes, that's what I meant. Parent company is Japanese in this case.

Southpaw2012
12-23-2014, 11:17 AM
It was stupid to make a movie where the whole plot revolves around killing a real leader who is currently still in power. Especially today where people are so damn sensitive that anything that could remotely offend them must be censored or destroyed.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2014, 11:35 AM
It was stupid to make a movie where the whole plot revolves around killing a real leader who is currently still in power. Especially today where people are so damn sensitive that anything that could remotely offend them must be censored or destroyed.

You sound like the Chinese. Free speech is free speech. Once you draw a line, any line, you become a censor.

Yks, where was this geek girl thing, that you were the only one to know about Estonia's situation? And your disdain for the media-centric focus of discussion is well noted.

Ivhon
12-23-2014, 11:41 AM
You sound like the Chinese. Free speech is free speech. Once you draw a line, any line, you become a censor.

Yks, where was this geek girl thing, that you were the only one to know about Estonia's situation? And your disdain for the media-centric focus of discussion is well noted.

This is not a free speech thing. This is a (un)civil response to free speech. Difference is huge.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2014, 12:28 PM
This is not a free speech thing. This is a (un)civil response to free speech. Difference is huge.

Would I have made the movie? Probably not. But I wouldn't have made The Dark Knight either. Other things occupy my time. But if a friend of mine told me he was going to make a movie mocking a foreign leader, I would tell him to have fun. We make all sorts of media mocking our own presidents. The only real difference is the assassination. And the reason we don't do that is because it can be seen as threatening. There is no credible threat posed by American civilians to Kim Jong Un.

Kimon
12-23-2014, 01:03 PM
It was stupid to make a movie where the whole plot revolves around killing a real leader who is currently still in power. Especially today where people are so damn sensitive that anything that could remotely offend them must be censored or destroyed.

What about Zero Dark Thirty? That movie was about the assassination of Bin Laden. Fair game? How about Inglorious Basterds? Is that one okay because it was pseudo-history, albeit an alternate ending to wwii with us assassinating Hitler could still piss off Neo-Nazis? What about Band of Brothers? Where do you draw the line?

GonzoTheGreat
12-23-2014, 01:08 PM
Where do you draw the line?
"If they have nukes, be polite."

Not, perhaps, the kind of line you would really want, but a fairly practical nonetheless. Plus, if you make it official, it would be a great inducement for Iran to change its policy.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2014, 02:04 PM
Looks like it will be in some theaters after all.

As for manners, didn't they threaten to nuke us? I mean, that's the level of dialogue we have here.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2014, 02:06 PM
Oh, and I thought I might post this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ka3nKBR2mIU

Davian93
12-23-2014, 03:01 PM
It was stupid to make a movie where the whole plot revolves around killing a real leader who is currently still in power. Especially today where people are so damn sensitive that anything that could remotely offend them must be censored or destroyed.

Yeah, we should totally do away with parody and humor because some tinpot dictator is upset.

http://static.fastcommerce.com/content/ff808081163c05b001169d6655243ae9/great_dictator_poster.jpg

Terez
12-23-2014, 05:34 PM
Godwin'd. Can we quit now?

Uno
12-23-2014, 06:07 PM
Godwin'd. Can we quit now?

Godwin's law applies only when comparisons to Hitler are irrelevant or impertinent to the topic at hand. That is arguably not the case when the discussion is about Kim or other totalitarian dictators.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-23-2014, 10:19 PM
Hitler and Bin Laden are dead. Psycho dictator is not. The comparison is silly

I take my shoes off at airports. We must have caved to terrorism. Pretty flower pots in front of new buildings, and anything military related. Held in place with 20 foot steel beams. Ooh pretty flowers? No, barricades for car bombs. We must have caved. Can't cross a friendly border from Detroit to Canada without a passport and car inspection anymore. We must have caved. I can go on if you like.

That argument is tiresome and naive. And just dumb in its saying this is some turning point or line in the sand.

The world ugliness caught up with the U.S.

It was the right decision in light of their choices. And POTUS made Sony look stupid. That doesn't bode well for Democrats in the next election

The whole thing is sad and scary. A global game of politicians and big businesses playing chicken.

The Unreasoner
12-23-2014, 10:47 PM
While I ususually agree with you, SBC, here I'm with Gonzo. Bring it on. But the thing is I'm also against alot of the measures that we adopted as the new normal. So..

Eta:
And wasn't that hitler movie made when he was still alive? So it seems at least marginally apt. Although I don't know if Chaplin got killed in it.

Kimon
12-24-2014, 12:37 AM
Hitler and Bin Laden are dead. Psycho dictator is not. The comparison is silly



So it's okay to criticize dead dictators, but not the living?

Keep in mind, Chaplin's movie came out in 1940, and the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup, which Mussolini banned in Italy came out in '33. Should those not have been shown in theatres either? Admittedly, neither Hitler or Mussolini had an internet connection, maybe that made them safer targets for satire...

GonzoTheGreat
12-24-2014, 04:52 AM
Hitler and Bin Laden are dead. Psycho dictator is not. The comparison is silly
As some have pointed out: Hitler was not quite dead yet when The Great Dictator came out.
But if you would prefer another, even more pertinent, example, then there's Team America: World Police. That one featured the then leader of North Korea as the bad guy, who got killed in the end.

Of course, Chaplin's movie was far better, so on artistic grounds I would say that's a better example by far.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-24-2014, 10:45 AM
As some have pointed out: Hitler was not quite dead yet when The Great Dictator came out.
But if you would prefer another, even more pertinent, example, then there's Team America: World Police. That one featured the then leader of North Korea as the bad guy, who got killed in the end.

Of course, Chaplin's movie was far better, so on artistic grounds I would say that's a better example by far.

If I recall correctly Team America portrays pyscho boy as a cockroach. A bit more CLEARLY satirical in nature. It is also 10 years old. The world is a different place today.

Ignoring the fact the world is an ugly place doesn't suddenly make it all butterfly kisses and rose petals. And standing up yelling about freedom of speech is the last bastion against terrorism is just laughable. Sit in your house and say that and feel brave and strong. I personally don't care enough about a multi billion dollar industy of stupidity that regurgitates the same stories over and over and charges ridiculous amounts of money for it. And now I should risk my life for the sake of James Franco to act like an idiot? Yeah, sign me up. Where is that petition.

Films by our country and others that are similar in nature from World War II and later years can be seen as propaganda, a tool that many people consider abhorrent.

It was a poor choice to greenlight by Sony. The whole thing is stupid. And I wasn't about to risk my life or my families(even at a "minimal" risk) by sitting in the theater to watch a $15 movie about Penguins if Franco/Rogen stupidity was showing next door. The fact people are in an uproar about this is just sad. OMG THEY CAVED IN TO TERRORISM!!! IT SET A PRECEDENT!!! Whatever. It is a James Franco movie. Really? Really? You want to risk you life over that? Go for it.

Kimon
12-24-2014, 11:19 AM
If I recall correctly Team America portrays pyscho boy as a cockroach. A bit more CLEARLY satirical in nature. It is also 10 years old. The world is a different place today.

Ignoring the fact the world is an ugly place doesn't suddenly make it all butterfly kisses and rose petals. And standing up yelling about freedom of speech is the last bastion against terrorism is just laughable. Sit in your house and say that and feel brave and strong. I personally don't care enough about a multi billion dollar industy of stupidity that regurgitates the same stories over and over and charges ridiculous amounts of money for it. And now I should risk my life for the sake of James Franco to act like an idiot? Yeah, sign me up. Where is that petition.

Films by our country and others that are similar in nature from World War II and later years can be seen as propaganda, a tool that many people consider abhorrent.

It was a poor choice to greenlight by Sony. The whole thing is stupid. And I wasn't about to risk my life or my families(even at a "minimal" risk) by sitting in the theater to watch a $15 movie about Penguins if Franco/Rogen stupidity was showing next door. The fact people are in an uproar about this is just sad. OMG THEY CAVED IN TO TERRORISM!!! IT SET A PRECEDENT!!! Whatever. It is a James Franco movie. Really? Really? You want to risk you life over that? Go for it.

Team America World Police came out in 2004, yeah, that's after 9/11.

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

Davian93
12-24-2014, 12:06 PM
Hitler and Bin Laden are dead. Psycho dictator is not. The comparison is silly
I take my shoes off at airports. We must have caved to terrorism. Pretty flower pots in front of new buildings, and anything military related. Held in place with 20 foot steel beams. Ooh pretty flowers? No, barricades for car bombs. We must have caved. Can't cross a friendly border from Detroit to Canada without a passport and car inspection anymore. We must have caved. I can go on if you like.

That argument is tiresome and naive. And just dumb in its saying this is some turning point or line in the sand.

The world ugliness caught up with the U.S.

It was the right decision in light of their choices. And POTUS made Sony look stupid. That doesn't bode well for Democrats in the next election

The whole thing is sad and scary. A global game of politicians and big businesses playing chicken.

The Great Dictator was made in 1940...when Hitler was very much alive and well. Thus my reference to the Chaplin film was quite accurate.

Davian93
12-24-2014, 12:15 PM
If I recall correctly Team America portrays pyscho boy as a cockroach. A bit more CLEARLY satirical in nature. It is also 10 years old. The world is a different place today.

Ignoring the fact the world is an ugly place doesn't suddenly make it all butterfly kisses and rose petals. And standing up yelling about freedom of speech is the last bastion against terrorism is just laughable. Sit in your house and say that and feel brave and strong. I personally don't care enough about a multi billion dollar industy of stupidity that regurgitates the same stories over and over and charges ridiculous amounts of money for it. And now I should risk my life for the sake of James Franco to act like an idiot? Yeah, sign me up. Where is that petition.

Films by our country and others that are similar in nature from World War II and later years can be seen as propaganda, a tool that many people consider abhorrent.

It was a poor choice to greenlight by Sony. The whole thing is stupid. And I wasn't about to risk my life or my families(even at a "minimal" risk) by sitting in the theater to watch a $15 movie about Penguins if Franco/Rogen stupidity was showing next door. The fact people are in an uproar about this is just sad. OMG THEY CAVED IN TO TERRORISM!!! IT SET A PRECEDENT!!! Whatever. It is a James Franco movie. Really? Really? You want to risk you life over that? Go for it.

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_large/hash/df/08/df08a92f4f18bc989a179fc472522e9c.jpg?itok=IToQbGIz

"You step outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. And nowadays you breathe, and you risk your life. Every moment now...you don't have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you are risking it for." -Hershel Greene

connabard
12-24-2014, 03:02 PM
The Great Dictator was made in 1940...when Hitler was very much alive and well. Thus my reference to the Chaplin film was quite accurate.

"In his 1964 autobiography, Chaplin stated that he would not have made the film had he known about the actual horrors of the Nazi concentration camps at the time."

I think it's a bit of an unfair comparison, we are entirely aware of the atrocities being committed in NK, and Chaplin was not when he made his film mocking Hitler.

GonzoTheGreat
12-25-2014, 04:53 AM
Then again, I think that Chaplin was sort of wrong, or at least overlooking some pertinent things. On the one hand, portraying Hitler as a somewhat bumbling but not really fool could be considered tasteless in hindsight. On the other hand, puncturing Hitler's aura of invincibility at that time was worthwhile, and it heartened a lot of people in Britain, thereby strengthening the fight against Nazism.
It is quite possible that Chaplin simply could not have made the movie if he'd known then what he knew after the war. But I think that all in all, The Great Dictator did more good than bad (by a large margin), and that means that making it was a good thing. Of course, it may be that if he had known about the concentration camps, Chaplin could have done even more good by publicizing that information, which may be what he meant.

As you say, the makers of the current movie don't have such a "we don't know" excuse, and their audience isn't facing the kind of danger that was around in 1940 either. So I can ask and answer two questions about this:
1. Should they have been allowed to make the movie? Yes, tasteless as it seems to be, censorship is worse.
2. Would I have been willing to participate in financing it? No, even if that could have brought a substantial profit, I still don't want to do this kind of thing.

Terez
12-26-2014, 11:35 AM
Why it's unlikely North Korea had anything to do with this:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/24/no-north-korea-didn-t-hack-sony.html

yks 6nnetu hing
12-29-2014, 02:27 AM
What about Zero Dark Thirty? That movie was about the assassination of Bin Laden. Fair game? How about Inglorious Basterds? Is that one okay because it was pseudo-history, albeit an alternate ending to wwii with us assassinating Hitler could still piss off Neo-Nazis? What about Band of Brothers? Where do you draw the line? to be totally honest, I was distinctly uncomfortable during the latest Hunger Games movie, when the rebels essentially engage in suicide terrorism on several occasions.

You sound like the Chinese. Free speech is free speech. Once you draw a line, any line, you become a censor.

Yks, where was this geek girl thing, that you were the only one to know about Estonia's situation? And your disdain for the media-centric focus of discussion is well noted.

Amsterdam. But honestly, I'm not surprised - the Estonian thing didn't make that huge news back then, and pretty much the only people to know about it are either
1) Estonian
2) involved in (international) cybersecurity
3) conspiracy nuts, or
4) frequent places where they can hear Estonians talking about the attacks every now and then.