The latest news in the world of cyber terrorism is that Sony, with the aid of a few non chain type theatres, are thumbing their noses at North Korea and airing The Interview, which should be coming to a cinema near you…maybe. It should not be forgotten that Sony Entertainment held out till the very last moment to cave under the terror attack against their company. Foolishly allowing theatre chains the option of not showing the Seth Rogen and James Franco political comedy after the threats of 9/11 type violence were made against film lovers who attended the Christmas Day open. Now, the corporation are allow the art house theatres to show the film, unlike their initial reaction to the terrorist’s promise of destruction.
Folding like a house of cards, Sony pulled The Interview and then stoutly declared that the offensive (to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un) film would never see the light of day. This last decision irritated President Barack Obama enough that he called out the entertainment organization for allowing terrorists to dictate policy in a country proud of its premise of freedom of speech and very little censorship.
After the president wagged his finger at Sony, the company back peddled a little. They then vacillated between streaming the finished film or releasing it on DVD. Now that the art cinema crowd, also known as art house theatres have offered to show The Interview, which could now be coming to a theatre near you, maybe, if you have one of those arty movie houses near your neighborhood, at least someone will get to see the movie on the “big screen.”
Sadly, a larger number of people could have seen the film on Christmas Day in at least one smaller cinema chain if Sony had not spent so much time panicking at the latest threat. Back when Regal, AMC and Cinemark were falling all over themselves to tell Sony that they would not be showing The Interview in their cinemas, thank you very much, the Warren Cinema Chain stood up and quietly offered to show the “controversial” film in their theatres.
The Warren Chain is based in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma with 64 screens spread over five different locations. Perhaps this small chain’s bravery in the face of horrific threatened violence promised by a disgruntled North Korean leader, or his supporters, or whoever is really behind the cyber terrorism being perpetrated against Sony, has to do with its location in America. This sort of tri state area of the country do tend to be that bit more patriotic and less inclined to fold under bully tactics from an enemy, seen or unseen.
What ever the reason, Sony were so preoccupied with panicking over the major cinema chains folding under the cyber threats that they did not bother to respond, not publically at least, to the smaller chain’s offer to show The Interview. This non major theatre chain sneered at the terrorists and their empty threats, just as the art house theatres are now doing. To be fair, at the same time that the Warren Chain made their offer, the owner of The Alamo movie house offered to show the film at his establishment as well.
So, as it stands now, The Interview could be coming to a theatre near you, maybe. Barring that, the average film lover apparently will have the ability to stream the movie. Unless, of course, the hackers hit Sony again or make more non credible threats of violence. Because the truth is that thus far Sony has not stood tall in this atmosphere of cyber terrorism. Since the president did his “shame of you” speech, the score now is Sony – 1, Cyber Terrorists – 1. Stand by for round three.
By Michael Smith