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At a time of the year when most film blogs and writers are focusing on their top-10 lists, and picks for Oscar hopefuls, news surrounding the events leading up to the cancellation of The Interview have taken over. Beginning with a seemingly innocuous hacking of information from Sony’s internal servers, an all out media storm has brewed following an escalating set of demands from a cowardly group of digital “freedom fighters.” Threats of leaking stolen copies of Annie, lead to leaked emails showing the stifling of creativity within the studios, and turned much more sinister when threats of physical harm and terrorism began to surround the release of the “anti-North Korea” comedy The Interview. Culminating with the quick, successive, declaration by Sony that Theaters could cancel showings, the Theaters canceling their showings, and Sony canceling the movie altogether, The Interview‘s future is a murky one – and surrounded with controversy. With the public in an uproar over their being unable to see a highly anticipated comedy, to the radicalized news media claiming infringements the First Amendment and “negotiating with terrorists,” everyone seems to have put in their two cents; even President Barack Obama has commented on the matter (via Reuters).
Desperate, members of “legendary” (and abstract, as it includes everyone with a computer and a connection) group, The Internet, have assembled around Seth Rogan and James Franco’s film. A rallying cry circulated after Paramount’s denial of Team America: World Police screenings, and has, for the moment, climaxed with the film selling out on Amazon (orders are expected to fill in 2-4 weeks for DVD only). Alongside the selling out of the second-most offensive and anti-DPRK movie comes the rating, despite only a handful of critics having actually seen it, of 9.9 on IMDb (this post from /Film was published while it was still at a glorious 10). Do not worry, dear reader, Team America: World Police is still streaming on Netflix, Amazon, and various other services, so you can still enjoy your very own First Amendment protest screening this holiday season. As for The Interview, various sources are reporting that digital distribution is still under consideration, as it would draw some of the risk away from crowded screenings. If this is the case, I implore each of you to rent it in hopes of proving to Sony that “we” will not stand for violent threats against our safety, simply because a group deems something “offensive.”