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...]

What happened to summer movies?

Summers are usually the season to go to the movies, when studios released their fun pop-corn flicks for the out-of-school and summer vacation crowd.  But what happened to this summer?  I haven’t gone to the movies once because there haven’t been any that I’ve been interested in.

Sure enough, according to the article excerpted after the jump, the summer box office has been a disaster for Hollywood.  One reason given is Netflix and what I have noted as the renaissance of television!

We’re thinking about taking in The Planet of the Apes sequel this weekend.  Is it worth seeing?  Are there any other movies that you would recommend? [Read more...]

Hollywood, desire, & the Santa Barbara murders

Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday on the Santa Barbara murders:

As deranged manifestos go, the final YouTube video made by suspected Isla Vista, Calif., mass murderer Elliot Rodger was remarkably well-made. Filmed by Rodger in his black BMW, with palm trees in the background and his face bathed in magic-hour key light, the six-minute diatribe — during which he vows revenge on all the women who rejected him and men who were enjoying fun and sex while he was “rotting in loneliness” — might easily have been mistaken for a scene from one of the movies Rodger’s father, Peter Rodger, worked on as a director and cinematographer. [Read more...]

Hollywood’s collaboration with the Nazis

The Hollywood Reporter has published excerpts from a new book documenting the ways that the American film industry collaborated with the Nazis in order to keep selling tickets in Germany.  From the introduction to the excerpt, linked after the jump:

In devastating detail, an excerpt from a controversial new book reveals how the big studios, desperate to protect German business, let Nazis censor scripts, remove credits from Jews, get movies stopped and even force one MGM executive to divorce his Jewish wife. . . . [Read more...]


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