Scary Funny: Seth Rogen's The Interview Proves That Sometimes the Mightiest Weapon Isn't a Bomb -- It's Butthole Jokes

Categories: Cover Story

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Sony Pictures
A scene from The Interview
Sony assumed North Korea would hate the movie. The question was: What would it do? Pyongyang had just tested its atom bomb and threatened "preemptive nuclear attack." And the Supreme Leader with his finger on the trigger was barely over 30, with less than two years of experience.

But Kim Jong-un didn't care about Olympus Has Fallen, even though the violently anti-North Korean 2013 film showed his people strangling women, murdering unarmed men, kidnapping the U.S. president and even executing their fellow citizens. That wasn't worth a fight.

A year later, North Korea had a bigger enemy: Seth Rogen.

In the new film The Interview, which Rogen directed with longtime writing partner Evan Goldberg, he plays trash-TV producer Aaron, who has become bored with pop culture gossip. Then he and his bimbo host, Dave Skylark (James Franco), score an interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).

There's a catch and a twist: First, a CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan) commands Aaron and Dave to assassinate Kim Jong-un for the good of the world. Second, Skylark and Kim Jong-un instantly hit it off and spend the trip cruising in tanks listening to Katy Perry, banging chicks at orgies, and bonding over the pressures of media scrutiny and disapproving parents. Sighs Kim Jong-un, "You know what's more destructive than a nuclear bomb? Words."

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12 Cool Things We Saw at December's Third Friday

Categories: Visual Art

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Lynn Trimble
Works by Laura Spalding Best featured in "Visions of Phoenix" at Modified Arts.
A relatively light crowd during December's Third Friday meant more opportunities to get up close and personal with artworks normally surrounded by eager viewers. Some suspected protests in downtown Phoenix during this month's First Friday left folks wary of hitting the downtown art scene, but there was nary a protester in site and we loved the chance all that calm gave us to rub elbows with artists and learn more about their work. Here's a fun selection of some of our favorites:

Works by Laura Spalding Best

We got to thinking of all those silver platters passed down from grandparents only to land in the Goodwill shop when we spotted four Laura Spalding Best works grouped on a wall at Modified Arts. One reminded us of the round platters some use to serve holiday turkeys this time of year, but we prefer the artist's take on serving dishes and other unconventional fare given the canvas treatment. She's one of several artists whose works we enjoyed while hitting the "Visions of Phoenix: Reality and Surreality" exhibit at Modified Arts.


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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Categories: Events

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Courtesy of Claire A. Warden
Using a unique process, Warden was able to achieve incredible photographic results like the one in this portion of No. 25 (Agency and Influence), 2014.

Hieronymus Bogs

It seems everyone is all about the bundle package: your cable company, your insurance company, and of course, indie folk artist, Hieronymus Bogs. The experimental performer has made a name for himself on stage for combining poetry, music, and art as well as his own sense of fashion. The Brooklyn-born frontman of Bogs Visionary Orchestra, is a creator at heart, bringing his own style of "outsider art" to venues across the country with banjo, sleigh bells, and his signature dangling bells in hand.

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Kevin Hart Is Coming to Comerica Theatre

Categories: Comedy, News

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Courtesy of Kevin Hart
Let us explain: Kevin Hart's coming to town.

The comedian's keeping plenty busy at the box office in Chris Rock's Top Five and a string of upcoming releases, The Wedding Ringer, Get Hard, and Ride Along 2. And on Friday, January 30, he's coming to a performing arts venue near you -- namely, Comerica Theatre.


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5 Most Beautiful Historic Neighborhoods in Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

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Katie Johnson
Live in one of these 'hoods and you might actually look forward to walking the dog.
They just don't make them like they used to.

And the ones they used to? They're in different states of repair. While some old neighborhoods have fallen on hard times, there are other historic 'hoods that are not only alive and well, but thriving. These home tour hotspots have kept themselves in mint condition, creating nooks that look straight out of a storybook. Whether you're looking to buy or just plain looking, these are five historic neighborhoods worth driving through in Phoenix.


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Tania Katan to Leave Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Categories: Interviews, News

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Evie Carpenter
Tania Katan is leaving SMoCA in January.

Tania Katan is leaving Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

The writer, performer, and erstwhile bingo hostess has been with the museum for about three years, working as its curator of performing arts to create events, including the mega-hit Lit Lounge, that engaged Valley dwellers in innovative ways and built an audience and brand for the museum's SMoCA Lounge. She announced her departure from the museum on Friday, December 19, in an e-mail to SMoCA Lounge supporters.


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Actors Theatre to Close in Phoenix

Categories: News, Theater

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John Groseclose
Actors Theatre's production of Good People featured Maria Amorocho and Katie McFadzen.

Early on Friday, December 19, Actors Theatre announced via press release that it will shutter after 29 years.

"The simple truth is we're out of money," Actors Theatre board president Renee Gerstman says in the release.

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5 Must-See Third Friday Shows in Phoenix on December 19

Categories: Events, Visual Art

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Halt Gallery
Work by Peter Bugg featured in the new "Snoop" exhibition at Halt Gallery.

A little of this, a little of that. It's what we do this time of year -- with food, spare time, and family gathered for the holidays. So we've picked five exhibitions that'll help you explore the diversity of Arizona artists in some delightfully different settings.

"Snoop"

Halt Gallery, one of two Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market spaces consisting of transformed shipping containers, holds the opening reception for a new show titled "Snoop" during this month's Third Friday. The exhibition features 14 works by three artists -- Peter Bugg, Christopher Jagmin, and Lisa Van Hoffner. Works being shown include Bugg's hand-cut paper and acrylic Celine (2014) and Von Hoffner's acrylic and oil on wood Survey. We're eager to see how they mix-it up with three artists in one modest space -- and to check out the new mural they've commissioned Jagmin to paint on the gallery's east exterior side. December Third Friday hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the closing reception takes place during First Friday on January 2. For more information, visit the Halt Gallery website.

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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Categories: Events

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Courtesy of Palabra Collective
Save Me A Seat by Enrique Garcia will be on view in "dos."

"dos"

Usually when someone turns two, it's (somewhat) jokingly referred to as the Terrible Twos. Thankfully in Palabra Art Collective's case, this does not seem to be the situation.


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The Colbert Report's Greatness Arrived With Its Very First Episode

Categories: Film and TV

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Comedy Central
Colbert in the opening of the very first Colbert Report.

The funniest and most incisive show on television is ending this week -- so let's look back at how it began. On October 17, 2005, a power-suited Stephen Colbert furrowed his eyebrows and showed off highlights of his new set. Red letters above him shouted, "The Colbert Report." The title of his show was silhouetted in back of those letters, so it appeared twice. The host's last name was also proclaimed by a plasma-screen on the front of his desk, and it flashed four times on a ticker that ran below it, and was even spelled out on either side of that desk -- "which," he pointed out, "is itself shaped like a giant C." There were nine "Colbert"s in all, not counting the initial he sat in.


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