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01/02/15 4:21pm
01/02/2015 4:21 PM |

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One of the stranger inside-baseball aspects of the leaked Sony emails and recent kerfuffle over the release of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview was the hostility or indifference toward the studio’s stars. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the Big Six studios places fear, parent-company concerns, and ego above talent on the priority list, but Sony has also shown considerable interest in grooming or maintaining semi-in-house talent, especially in the comedy realm: Most of Adam Sandler’s movies since Big Daddy have been for Sony, along with the non-Anchorman Will Ferrell/Adam McKay movies, Phil Lord/Chris Miller projects like the 21 Jump Street series, and the probably-curtailed Cameron Diaz/Jason Segel/Jake Kasdan comedy team that made Bad Teacher and Sex Tape. The company seemed to be establishing a particularly fruitful relationship with Rogen and Goldberg, with most of their previous screenplays and story ideas (Superbad, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, This is the End) produced by the studio, up to and including a violent and silly movie about assassinating Kim Jong Un.

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12/17/14 4:54pm
12/17/2014 4:54 PM |

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The Interview
Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Opens December 25

The arrival of The Interview, towing more political baggage than any lowbrow bro-down in recent memory, amounts to an impromptu test of the old saw that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That this strenuously ridiculous entertainment is apparently the root of both an international incident and a debacle of historic proportions for its maker’s corporate parent—assuming anonymous claims of responsibility for electronic sabotage can be taken at face value—only brings into sharper relief the uneasy contrasts that define the film.

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