The Interview (Blu-ray) (2014)
Audio Commentary-Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Directors of This Movie
Featurette-Spies Among Us
Unseen Footage-Randall Park Audition Tape
Featurette-Getting into Character
Additional Footage-Dating a Dictator
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Puppy Power
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Here Kitty Kitty
Featurette-Naked & Afraid
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
German DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
††† 2014ís The Interview was never going to live up to expectations. With the massive controversy, Sony hacking scandal, terrorist threats from North Korea, and the flickís temporarily cancelled release (it was going to sit in a vault forever unseen), most film-goers most likely expected too much from this all-in-good-fun comedy romp, hoping for a razor-sharp, incisive political satire that it was never meant to be. Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, The Interview is by no means high-brow or classy, nor is it The Great Dictator of the 21st Century, but it is funny. Humour is subjective and your mileage will vary depending on taste, but I cannot deny that The Interview worked for me - I laughed frequently, and the movie holds up on repeat viewings.
††† A high-profile talk show host, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) have conquered the entertainment industry, consistently scoring high ratings from their interviews with various celebrities. After a thousand episodes, however, Aaron finds himself yearning to take on ďreal news,Ē and perhaps earn some respect from his peers. Learning that North Koreanís Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), is a fan of the show, Dave and Aaron are given the chance of a lifetime: an hour-long interview with the controversial dictator. The announcement draws attention from the C.I.A. though, with Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) requesting their help to assassinate the controversial political figure. But soon after touching down in the country, Dave finds himself bonding with Kim, prompting second thoughts about the plan. Aaron, meanwhile, gains an ally in the form of Sook (Diana Bang), a military official and propagandist working for the Supreme Leader.
††† Many of The Interviewís detractors bemoan the lack of sophistication and political satire here, with Rogen and Goldberg content to fill the feature with d*** jokes, drug trips, creative uses of profanity, and other infantile humour. But Dan Sterlingís screenplay actually does more than it gets credit for - in one particularly astute exchange, Sook asks Aaron how many times the U.S. can make the same mistake, to which he replies ďAs many times as it takes!Ē The Interview also plays up several of the myths surrounding North Korea, some of which are hugely alarming. Itís easy to see why Kim Jong-un and his people would find this feature offensive, though it still wouldíve been nice to see the movie go even further - one must wonder if any material was cut from the final product in light of the tremendous controversy.
††† As with all comedies, not all of the laughs land, of course - itís especially grating to listen to the white actors talking like rappers. Furthermore, some scenes could have been tauter, such as the interview with Eminem which runs past its logical closure point. Nevertheless, I laughed more often than not, and the movie also makes side-splitting use of the Katy Perry song ďFirework,Ē which becomes a brilliant recurring joke. Rogen and Goldberg were aiming for a sophisticated visual style here which belies the projectís comedic origins, collaborating with veteran comedy cinematographer Brandon Trost to give The Interview the look of a stylish espionage thriller. Lensed digitally, the results are to be commended, with shot compositions making brilliant use of shadows. Nobody can accuse The Interview of looking cheap. The climax here amounts to an extended action set-piece, and itís both hugely amusing and competently executed. Some of the violence is comically over-the-top, but, miraculously, it never grows too dark or mean-spirited - the madness is pitched at just the right tone.
††† Francoís performance is a mixed bag. He plays foolish well enough and he is amusing at times, but heís far too broad and often mugs the camera. One can only imagine what someone like Bill Murray could have done with the role, as heís capable of wonderfully dry line delivery. In fact, Murray would have been a great choice, as he has subtle, nuanced comedic chops that wouldíve made the movie even funnier. Rogen, meanwhile, is pretty much Seth Rogen, leaning on all of his usual trademarks as a performer. More worthy of praise is Parkís energetic portrayal of Kim Jong-un. Park had serious balls to play the dictator at all, but itís astonishing just how much he runs with it, turning the notorious Supreme Leader as a pothead who enjoys margaritas and Katy Perry music. Caplan is also mostly amusing, while Bangís performance as Sook is highly spirited.
††† High-concept R-rated comedies are becoming rarer and rarer, and while The Interview is not the home run that it might have been in defter hands, Rogen and Goldberg deserve credit for having the guts to mastermind a comedy of such brash political outrageousness. Other comedies these days like Sex Tape, Bad Neighbours, Ride Along, Letís Be Cops, Dumb and Dumber To and The Internship mine the same old tired territory, thus The Interview has an inherent edge since it delves into more dangerous terrain. Best of all, it does so whilst remaining fun and light on its feet, rather than leaden and pretentious. Itís not perfect, but Iíll take it.
|Surround Channel Use|
††† A static menu with themed music from the movie.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
† † Our disc appears to be identical to the Blu-ray edition circulating around many European territories. It's head-over-heels superior to the Region A edition, which has the major black crush issue. Buy local!
|DVD||PlayStation 4, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||LG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W|