1. Why You Should See “The Interview.” Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new comedy “The Interview” has become an unlikely candidate for the year’s most controversial film, with the “Guardians of Peace” threatening to attack theaters screening the film. The Week’s Scott Meslow isn’t all that excited about the film, but he argues that this is why people should see it.
I don’t want to get overly preachy about a goofy, gory Rogen/Franco joint (and, by all accounts, a mediocre one). But this isn’t something to be taken lightly, either. We’re dealing with intimidation that’s virtually unprecedented in this industry, and the way we choose to respond is important, because any response to terrorism sets a precedent that other would-be terrorists will follow. Read more.
2. The Year in Superhero TV. Superhero movies are now the most popular entertainment on the big screen, but TV superheroes thrive when they aim for a niche market. HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall wrote that this year’s comic book television benefited from not trying to be everything to everyone.
3. The Year’s Most Underrated Films. With all of the lists and polls of the year’s best films, a few really stellar movies are getting left out. Jason Bailey of Flavorwire picked the year’s 10 most underrated films.
4. Success Failed at the Movies in 2014. “Frank,” “Listen Up Philip” and “Whiplash” all show their protagonists achieving their artistic goals at some point in the film, but at an incredible price. Charles Bramesco of The Dissolve argued that success failed at the movies this year.
By the time the credits roll, it looks like Philip is poised for an illustrious, lengthy career, but he’s systematically eradicated all traces of warmth from his life. More chilling still, he seems to have no problem with that. The use of Neil Young’s “Old Man” on the soundtrack only feels heavy-handed because it fits so perfectly. For Philip, jettisoning every last bit of warmth from his life in exchange for an increased profile doesn’t feel like sacrifice at all. When he’s that willing to disengage, it’s just spring cleaning. Read more.
5. Goodbye to Stephen Colbert. After nine years on the air, “The Colbert Report” ends Thursday night. To commemorate its run, Vulture asked 49 celebrities to wish farewell to Stephen Colbert, or rather, “Stephen Colbert.” Here’s Dan Savage:
6. Aaron Sorkin’s Woman Problem and the Sony Hack. Aaron Sorkin likes to pontificate, and in the latest leaked Sony email he pontificated about how women are given worse roles than men in the movies. He’s not wrong, but Robbie Collin of The Telegraph believes (correctly) that he’s part of the problem.
Sorkin is right to point out that we’re routinely less impressed by the work of actresses than actors, but he reaches the conclusion via two enormous mistakes. The first is that the most admirable thing about any given performance in a film is its “difficulty”…Perhaps because of lingering suspicions that the life of a film actor is an easy one, it’s delicious to audiences when performers have to suffer for a role, either physically or mentally, or ideally both…Sorkin’s other mistake is not following his argument through to its logical conclusion. Elsewhere in his email he mentions the relative lack of “Bridesmaids-quality scripts” in the industry: the raw material, in other words, is lacking. As a multi-award-winning screenwriter, you’d think Sorkin might be in a position to do something about this rather than simply complaining about it. Read more.