Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Tinseltalk: The Hobbit, Annie, Night at the Museum in theatres; Obama, Clooney criticize Sony’s retreat

The President of the United States and the president of Hollywood's A-list both called out Sony for pulling The Interview from theatres



In theatres this week…

  • The Hobbit concludes its trilogy with The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx
  • The Night at the Museum‘s third film, Secret of the Tomb starring Ben Stiller and the late Robin Williams yet again

Sony Business

The heavyweights are weighing in on the Sony hack – which the FBI has now officially credited to North Korea – and on the company’s decision to pull The Interview from theatres and its December 25th release. (It’s also likely Sony will now never let the film see the light of the day, although I’m sure the Internet’s liberating fingers won’t let that happen.)

George Clooney

Clooney offered his thoughts on Sony’s Khrushchev-like backdown to Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr.

“Stick it online,” Clooney said. “Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part. We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f*cking people.”

(Full interview here)

Clooney also skewered the press for publishing and salivating over leaked and stolen emails, which has exposed several people and celebrities involved with Sony.

“A good portion of the press abdicated its real duty,” he said. “They played the fiddle while Rome burned. There was a real story going on.

“This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have. That’s the truth. What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don’t like it? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down.”

Barack Obama

The President of the United States criticized Sony for pulling The Interview from its Christmas Day release.

“Sony’s a corporation that suffered significant damage, there were threats against its employees,” Obama said in his year-end news conference on Friday.

“I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced, but having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”

(Full story from CNBC)

The President also said he wished someone from Sony had spoken to him – consulted with him – before they cancelled the film’s release, and he said the United States would respond to North Korea’s recent threats and actions.

“Let’s not get into that way of doing business.

“They (North Korea) caused a lot of damage, and we will respond. We will respond proportionately, and we will respond at a place and time and manner that we choose.”

Aaron Sorkin

Writing in a column for the New York Times, published before The Interview was cancelled, Sorkin ripped America’s media for its role in the email hacks that left Sony with its pants down in a nightmare.

“The Guardians (group threatening violence) just had to lob the ball; they knew our media would crash the boards and slam it in,” Sorkin said.

“First, salaries were published. Not by the hackers, but by American news outlets.

“If you close your eyes you can imagine the hackers sitting in a room, combing through the documents to find the ones that will draw the most blood. And in a room next door are American journalists doing the same thing. As demented and criminal as it is, at least the hackers are doing it for a cause. The press is doing it for a nickel.”

(Full column on The New York Times)

Mitt Romney

Obama’s 2012 election foe Tweeted his support for the release of The Interview on Wednesday, the same day Sony announced they were pulling the movie.

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Video: The Canadian Press