We have seen the enemy, and the enemy is Hollywood.
No sooner had smaller theaters come up with an ingenious plan to fight the backlash against the James Franco-Seth Rogen flick The Interview, than Hollywood had to go and shut that down, too.
Yesterday, Alamo Drafthouse in the Dallas-Fort Worth area had announced it would screen the 2004 film Team America: World Police in lieu of The Interview, after Sony, caving to threats from hackers, pulled the movie from theaters. It was a logical choice, since Team Police, in puppet form, depicted the craziness of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il and ultimately his much-deserved death. The Interview has been the subject of a hack attack of Sony and threats of theater bombings because it depicts the craziness -- and ultimately much-deserved death -- of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. It seemed a fair swap.
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But Hollywood has squashed even this attempt at patriotism and entrepreneurship. Paramount, according to Alamo Drafthouse, has no longer made Team America eligible for release. As a result, the showing has been cancelled.
What is particularly egregious about Paramount's move is that it had no defensible reason to not allow the film to be shown. Sony has been the subject of hackers, presumably from North Korea (but, in theory, could even have come from inside the studio, for all we know). Paramount has not been the subject of any threats as far as anyone knows. But it is removing its marionette punchbowl from the party, even before it got started.
It seems odd that a decade-old movie about puppets killing terrorists and having tons of sex with one another would be a source of national pride and patriotism, but, well...it was. Over the course of a few hours, Team America became a symbol of how we Americans like to thumb our noses at threats and demands, particularly from Communist countries that haven't left the stone age, murder their own citizens and stomp their feet loudly to get our attention, like spoiled toddlers. Paramount is not letting us express that outrage.
However, the same entrepreneurial spirit that drove theaters like Alamo to show Team America in protest is still alive today.
There are always DVDs. Party anyone? F*ck yeah.