Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'The Interview' goes indie

The Interview is coming to the Denver area.

Yes, that's the same Interview that set off an international furor when Sony last week withdrew it from a Christmas Day release.

If you want to see the movie that has caused all the uproar, you'll be able to do it at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema beginning on the morning after Christmas -- literally.

The first show of The Interview is scheduled to take place at Alamo at 12 a.m. on Christmas night.

So if you've got any energy left after a day of presents, dinners and whatever else you do for Christmas, you can head for Alamo's theater at 7301 South Sante Fe Drive -- if the show's not already sold out, that is.

After the initial showing, Alamo plans to show the movie once a day through Jan. 1. Shows are slated to begin at either 9 or 10 p.m. -- not exactly prime time, but that probably won't stop those who are eager to experience what has become one of Hollywood's most controversial releases.

Later in the day (Tuesday), The Denver Film Society announced that it would begin a two-week run of The Interview at the Sie Film Center on Friday, Dec. 26.

The Film Center's web site currently lists four shows a day.

At one point, the Sie had planned to host a preview screening of the Interview with Rogen in attendance. That Dec. 8 screening was canceled, and took place instead at the Oriental Theater, where -- according to news reports -- Rogen poured tequila shots directly into moviegoers' mouths.

Rogen had said (via Twitter) he wanted everyone to smoke marijuana with him at the screening, but Denver's pot laws evidently precluded that kind of public indulgence..

No need to recount the whole Interview saga, but if you've somehow failed to keep up, you can recap at Variety, which reports that the movie -- directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg -- now will play in "several hundred independent cinemas rather than in major chains."

Alamo has one location in the Denver area and about 20 locations in total, according to Variety.

Another article in Variety noted that the major theatrical chains are none too pleased about Sony's decision to go indie, followed by a possible VOD release.

I haven't seen The Interview because a Denver preview screening was cancelled after SONY's initial withdrawal of its Christmas Day release.

The movie deals with a couple of tabloid TV guys who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korea's Kim Jung-un, a premise that has been linked to an embarrassing hacking attack at SONY.

The controversy probably has made The Interview critic proof, but if you're interested in reviews, a quick hits:

Variety's Scott Foundas wrote that the movie was "about as funny as a communist food shortage, and just as protracted ... An evening of cinematic waterboarding awaits."

The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy called the movie "intensely sophomoric and rampantly uneven,'' and rated it well below movies such as Borat or Team America: World Police.

Relying on reviews from cities in which the movie did have preview screenings, Rotten Tomatoes -- an on-line site that aggregates reviews -- awarded The Interview a 52 percent rating.

The movie received some positive reviews, but I'm more inclined to believe those who -- like Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote that the film's "remarkably dismal quality is emblematic of the mind-set that brought the movie, and its attendant crises, into being." Morgenstern evidently laughed a few times, but overall found the movie "torture from almost start to finish."

At some point, I'll see The Interview, but I don't think I'll bother to review it -- unless I happen to be one of those who find the movie uproarious.

Meanwhile, I continue to marvel that any set of circumstances could turn a Seth Rogen comedy into a standard-bearer for free speech.

If that doesn't tell you the world has lost its collective mind, nothing will.

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