James Franco

The Funniest and Most Vicious Comedy Central Roast Speeches

We’ve reached the “publicly begging people to show up” phase of planning for Justin Bieber’s March 30th roast on Comedy Central; yesterday, the noted Photoshop template took to social media to ask Seth Rogen, whose low estimation of Bieber is well known, to tear him a new one on national television. As the hype surrounding the Kevin Hart-hosted event (Kate McKinnon, presumably, didn’t have time for the gig given her SNL schedule), we’ve rounded up some of the best appearances from the network’s 17-year tradition of having comedians puncture stars’ egos, and each other’s, on camera. … Read More

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‘A Kim Jong-Il Production’ Is an Incredible True Story About North Korea and Film

In December 2014, the imminent release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s idiots-take-North Korea comedy The Interview set off both the Sony Pictures hacking scandal and the terrorist threat that any theaters showing the film would be attacked: “The world will be full of fear,” the hackers wrote. It was still a strange, surreal, largely online controversy that was hard for the average American citizen to see and feel the effects of in their day-to-day life. For me, the clearest example of a world with and without The Interview was when I was walking past a days-in-the-making painted mural advertising the movie in Williamsburg; the day after the film was officially pulled from theaters, that ad was, once again, a white wall. … Read More

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See ‘The Interview,’ Or Don’t — Neither Option Makes You a Hero

Some people like to spend their holidays surrounded by presents, family, and an inadvisable amount of sugar cookies. And some people — Texans, obviously — like to spend their holidays not only seeing The Interview, the bro comedy that inadvertently made Amy Pascal America’s favorite poet, but singing “Proud to Be an American” at the screening. This, like many reactions to The Interview and its release, is dumb.  … Read More

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Like It Or Not, ‘The Interview’ Is a Battle Worth Fighting

It was a no-win situation, which was probably why the hackers made the play they did. When the “Guardians of Peace,” drunk with the power of infiltrating and publicly humiliating one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates on the planet, fired off their comically villainous missive Tuesday (I mean, seriously, “how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to”?) threatening 9/11-style attacks on theaters showing Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Kim Jong-un assassination comedy The Interview, it put Sony Pictures in a helluva spot. If they kept the release date and (contrary to all available intelligence) an attack did occur, then moviegoers and theater employees could be hurt or killed, and the narrative would be, “Greedy Sony is responsible for this, because of their greed.” If they pulled the movie from release, it would mean that any hackers worth their salt — and, as is probably the case here, the totalitarian government behind them — could dictate what we see. It would be a loss of backbone and credibility and “face,” but that’s not the kind of thing that results in liabilities and lawsuits, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sony made the call they did. Corporations gonna corporate, after all, and there’s really nothing we can do about that. But what we can control is what our takeaway will be from this whole affair — how to deal with it, and what we’ve learned from it. … Read More

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