The Interview: Freedom Edition (Blu-ray Review)

the interview whysoblu coverA small part of the world cried foul, threats were made from various sources, but here we are with the home release of the movie that presents an insane premise and matches it with the same sense of humor and themes that have made successes out of the filmmaking team that is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  While the real-life fallout from producing The Interview was likely something the duo could not have imagined, the actual film is merely silly fun, with only hints of truly biting social commentary.  That said, I know what to expect, for the most part, from Team Rogberg at this point, and while this may not be their greatest effort, it is certainly an entertaining one, which has now found its way to Blu-ray.


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The concept is one of the simpler, yet very entertaining high concept ideas I have heard this year, as far as a comedy goes.  Entertainment talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his best friend/producer, Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen), secure an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and are instructed by the CIA to assassinate him.  This will a difficult challenge to say the least, given the nature of how North Korea’s dictator and his compound are portrayed, the method in which this assassination will supposedly be handled, and because the two assassins in question are, y’know…idiots.

Finding joy and entertainment in a movie like this means accepting what Franco and Rogen are capable of as comedic actors.  They, of course, have plenty of help from their co-stars (Randall Park’s Kim Jong-un and Diana Bong as Sook, the Minister of Propaganda are particular highlights), but regardless of how inherently satirical a premise like this may seem, The Interview is much happier finding comedy in how everyone talks to each other, the details in character actions, and a gloriously, cartoonish violent ending that reminds us how these are just boys being boys in a film that has both heart and a lot of dick jokes.

The Interview is less interested in actually selling some kind of scathing indictment of North Korea, especially given how the actual situation there is easily much worse than anything we see in this film and winds up being about as politically potent as Tropic Thunder, with the difference being the namedropping of an actual political figure.  Instead, much of this film focuses on silly things like the crafting of an elaborate assassination plan that obviously goes south very quickly; debating whether or not a honeypot-like seduction has been in play on multiple occasions; and of course the true meaning of friendship.

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Looking at the work Rogen and Goldberg have put out together as writers and/or directors (Superbad, Pineapple Express, This is the End, and yes, The Green Hornet), the throughline involving friendship as an emotional core of their stories continues to be a large focus here in The Interview as well.  It comes from two areas this time around, as Franco and Rogen’s characters are obviously dealing with each other, but the film also puts a lot of effort into crafting a relationship between Franco and Park’s Kim Jong-un.  It is here that the film really goes to the limits of what these kinds of storylines can bring.  Sure, This is the End pitted friends against the apocalypse, but The Interview takes people that should oppose each other in every way and turns that concept on its head for comedic purposes.  If anything should ensure how fanciful this film is, it is how we see Skylark and Kim Jong-un interact with each other, as they sing pop songs and play basketball together, among other activities.

In all of this, those looking forward to this movie because they are fans of these sorts of comedies should certainly be getting what they want.  Franco’s loud mouth (yet likable) idiot and Rogen’s exacerbated, but quip-ready characters are fit for this film.  The jokes come fast and running gags are plentiful.  It does not reach the comedic heights of some of the previous efforts from these guys, but I find myself still smiling at a lot of the sillier moments, let alone thinking back fondly to some of the gags that went a step beyond just being shock humor, because of the reactions these guys voice aloud in the moment.  Basically, the film is funny enough, given that it does not ever want to really be more than a gag-fest.

There are other aspects to admire as far as the production goes, but what really matters is whether or not I found The Interview to be an enjoyable film, given the outlandish premise.  “Yes” is the answer to that question and separated from the film’s real-life controversy, I was happy to get a lot of laughs out of this ridiculous comedy.  It is not as scathing as it maybe could be, but it does not feel like a waste of talent either.  It’s just a funny movie.


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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The Interview comes to Blu-ray with a very clean transfer, emphasizing the care taken by the filmmakers, including cinematographer Brandon Trost (The FP!), to make a very good-looking, silly movie.  There are a lot of sets and scenes that were greenscreened, but the details are quite clear in the various ways this film presents real props, sets, costumes, and the characters.

Depth: Good work is done in handling the distances between characters and locations in various instances.

Black Levels: Quite noticeable are the nighttime scenes, where the blacks seem to blend together.  There are many instances, which allow us to see some dark and inky black levels, but looking at a scene taking place at night (the tiger scene), lots of elements blend together.

Color Reproduction: Making up for some minor hiccups, the colors are great.  The Interview has a lot of flashy, colorful moments and this Blu-ray does a great job of presenting them with the kind of pop the film allowed for.

Flesh Tones: Facial textures are quite strong as well, between Randall Park’s makeup to Seth Rogen and all his hair covering his face.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing.



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Audio Format(s): English, French (PAR) 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish, English – Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Yes, The Interview sounds That great.  This lossless soundtrack does a tremendous job of bringing out all to be heard in the dialogue, the music (which there is a lot of), the sound effects including explosions and gunfire (which there is a lot of), and other audio elements.

Low Frequency Extension: A great job is done to give the LFE Channel a workout.

Surround Sound Presentation: A wonderful mix that takes advantage of all the channels.  The range is wonderfully presented, with the front taking the reins, when it comes to dialogue, but not leaving out the other pieces of a home theater system, when it counts.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone will be heard, regardless of what North Korea wants.



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As expected, a comedy like this is packed with extras.  Some are more significant than others, but if you like these guys and these types of movies, they you will enjoy the work done to preserve some great comedy bits and more.  I should note that the extras were largely produced before all the controversy, but there is a brief introduction by Rogen and Goldberg, acknowledging the viewer’s choice of obtaining this Blu-ray.

Features Include:

  • Filmmaker Commentary – Unfortunately this was recorded before things got very interesting for The Interview and its release, but if you want to learn more about the making of the film, listening to writers/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will certainly allow you to know plenty more about it.
  • Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes (HD, 25:03) – Some good stuff to be found here for fans.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 7:03)
  • Line-O-Ramas (HD, 10:02) – Several sequences from the film with lots of comedic options.
  • Directors of This Movie (HD, 6:41) – The cast and crew talk about Seth and Evan as directors for this movie.
  • Spies Among Us (HD, 7:24) – A look at the lead characters of the film.
  • Randall Park Audition Tape (HD, 5:14) – A great extra, taking a look at how funny Randall Park was, before getting dressed up to play Kim Jong-un.
  • Getting into Character (HD, 4:47) – A look at the work done to bring this film’s Kim Jong-un to life.
  • Dating a Dictator (HD, 1:10) – A spoof video concerning online dating.
  • Puppy Power (HD, 1:56) – A look at one of the pivotal characters in the film.
  • Here Kitty Kitty (HD, 5:19) – A look at the tiger scene, which involved a real tiger.
  • Joking Around (HD, 1:54) – Some of the joke writers for the film get a say.
  • Naked & Afraid (HD, 13:47) – Seth Rogen and James Franco guest on this Discovery Channel show and have a fun time going wild with it.
  • Previews
  • UltraViolet Copy of the Film


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The Interview was the subject of so much controversy, but regardless of how all of that shook out, I found the film to be quite funny. Not amazing, but a fun concept that was happier being a silly comedy, rather than something more satirically great.  That said, the Blu-ray presentation is fantastic, with a great level of care given to the audio, video, and special features.  See for yourself because you have the right to.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

3 Responses to “The Interview: Freedom Edition (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I too enjoyed this one like you. A pleasant surprise. I would have given it same score. It’s just a shame Seth opened his mouth like he did in regards to the military and American Sniper. Had he not, I would have loved to add this one to my collection.

  2. Gerard Iribe


  3. Brian White

    What are you laughing at G? I can’t help it you take your freedom for granted!