Sony will release “The Interview” after all

Sony has backed down from its backing down to North Korean hackers, announcing that it will release “The Interview” simultaneously  on Christmas day in select theaters and on Video on Demand. [Read more…]

North Korean hackers win

We blogged about  the hack of Sony pictures, apparently by North Koreans angry about “The Interview,” a comedy about an attempt to assassinate that country’s dear leader, Kim Jong-un.  The organization that broke into the company’s data released vast amounts of embarrassing information online, including racially charged remarks about President Obama from chief executives, insulting information about how the studio viewed certain stars, and financial details about who makes more than who.  Not to mention entire movies that can now be pirated before their release.

But then the hackers had this to say about the release of the movie on Christmas day:  “The world will be full of fear.  “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

With this dirrect threat,  many theater chains and distributors cancelled the showings.  Whereupon Sony has killed the movie completely. [Read more…]

North Korea hacks Hollywood

Sony Pictures will soon release a comedy about two reporters who are enlisted to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.  The movie, entitled The Interview, combines fiction with non-fiction, bringing the venerated “dear leader” of the notoriously touchy Communist country into a silly comedy plot.  But North Korea is outraged and breathing threats.

So apparently North Koreans hacked into Sony’s computer system, deleting files, stealing personal information about its employees, and downloading unreleased movies and making them available on the internet.

Notice how our inter-connected global technology doesn’t just spread the Western ideal of freedom.  It can also be used to attack freedom, to the point of authoritarian governments punishing people who aren’t even citizens of their country. [Read more…]

The new Star Wars trailer

It won’t be released until about this time next year–December 15, 2015–but a trailer has been released for Star Wars Episode 7:  The Force Returns.  The movie will pick up the story of the galaxy far, far away beginning 30 years AFTER Return of the Jedi.  It will feature some of the same actors, 30 years older, who starred in that 1983 masterpiece, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, and Carry Fisher as Leia.  The director is J. J. Abrams, which should be promising.

So as a public service for those of you who, like me, are hungry for fun movies (we saw Interstellar yesterday, which was interesting but fell way short of fun), I am posting the Star Wars 7 trailer after the jump. [Read more…]

“Vegetative” patients who respond to Hitchcock

Neuroscientist Adrian Owen has been studying the brain activity of people who are in a “vegetative state.”  A recent experiment showed a classic episode, “Bang!  You’re Dead!” from Alfred Hitchcock’s TV show, directed by the master of suspense himself, to two unresponsive people with brain injuries, as well as two healthy people.  One of the “vegetables” showed identical brain responses to the healthy viewers.  After the jump, an account of the research, plus the video of the episode. [Read more…]

A Christian movie without the Christianity

A new “Left Behind” movie comes out today, this one with Nicholas Cage and big Hollywood studio connections.  But, according to Christianity Today movie critic Jackson Cuidon, this story–supposedly, like the novels and earlier movies it is based on, about the Last Days according to premillennial theology–has NO Christianity in it.  Yes, one might say that about the other renditions, but this one leaves out virtually all references to Christianity (except for a few negative ones) and is played as just another disaster movie!  And yet it’s being marketed to churches in the hopes that they will buy up big blocks of tickets!

After the jump, an excerpt from Mr. Cuidon’s review.  At the end, he gets to the real problem about how desperate Christians are to have their identity acknowledged. [Read more…]