More North Korea (Nuclear) Sabre Rattling: An (In)Appropriately Ridiculous Response

As io9 reports, North Korea “has released a four-minute propaganda clip depicting the White House under attack. Entitled, ‘Firestorms Will Rain on the Headquarters of War,’ the video is yet another example of the disturbing — and seemingly inexplicable — rhetoric that’s suddenly pouring out of Pyongyang.”

I’m tempted to think that this video should be read in the long tradition of hurriedly making a film based upon a forthcoming blockbuster in order to release the derivative film before said blockbuster so that the derivative film can capitalize on the attention leading up to the release of the blockbuster. (I tried to find a more elegant way of putting this, but have clearly failed). For example, Deep Impact (1998) was clearly made in order to benefit from Armageddon (1998), which came out two months later, and the terrible Skyline (2010) was made anticipating (the also not good) Battle Los Angeles (2011). (I wrote about Skyline a while ago.) Other examples are too numerous to list, but there are many.

The above is clearly anticipating Olympus has Fallen (2013), which will be released tomorrow. If you have seen the trailer (below), Olympus has Fallen portrays the destruction of iconic Washington DC monuments w/ better special effects than the Capitol Building in the crosshairs right before the 3:00 mark of the above video (an understatement). N. Korea should have taken a page from The Asylum, a “studio” wholly devoted to this kind of anticipatory capitalization (i.e, they released Transmorphers [2007] on video a week before Transformers [2007] appeared), and might have gone ahead and titled the above video: Asgard has Fallen (which basically captures the gist of what they were going for in their original title anyway.)

(And is it any coincidence that Morgan Freeman steps in as the President in Olympus has Fallen, reprising his presidentiality from Deep Impact? Is it not the case that Olympus has Fallen capitalizes on Freeman’s initial anticipatory capitalization in Deep Impact? And since now there actually is a black president, does not Freeman’s role in OhF work through a kind of anticipatory capitalization après la lettre? And doesn’t the trailer below also look awful? Like Olympus has Fallen is itself an anticipatory capitalization on a film that does not exist yet? That this summer there will be a film called Valhalla in Flames or The Fall of Valhalla [or maybe Valhalla Rising] that is just way better than OhF? I think there’s a recursive loop here. I will stop writing so as not to fall into it.)

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