"Hereafter," the Clint Eastwood film that dramatically recreates a tsunami, has been pulled from Japanese theaters after the earthquake and flooding in Japan, The Associated Press reports.
Warner Entertainment Japan Inc. official Satoru Otani said theaters would stop showing the film, which had been expected to air through the month, because the images were "not appropriate" after the disaster.
"Hereafter," which stars Matt Damon, opened in Japan last month in about 180 theaters, the AP said.
Before I say anything, I want to make it clear: it's not the act that I have a problem with, it's the spin.
This is bullshit. I don't mean that in the "I'm outraged and you should be, too!" context that you might glean; more like, "You know how you feel when you're being lied to by the government?"
Of course, the Japanese government is not to blame for this act of self-censorship - Warner Brothers is. And that's the main signpost that screams "B.S.!!!" I saw Hereafter, so I think I'm a pretty qualified subject matter expert on the relative impropriety of the tsunami depicted in the film. For starters, it lasts all of about five minutes and acts as a catalyst for one character's metamorphasis more than anything else. It's not the climax nor the focal point of the film, by any stretch of the imagination.
To be sure, the people of Japan (if they wanted to see Hereafter at all to begin with) are probably not in the mood to watch a tsunami of any stripe in their theaters right now. But that's the whole point, and what bothers me about this. There's nothing "inappropriate" about the tsunami - the film was made a year (or more) ago and has nothing at all to do with Japan. No, the film is guilty of bad timing and nothing more, and Warner's attempt to sell it as though they're doing an act of kindness by pulling the film is what bothers me. They don't give a shit about all that - they know that, above all, the people of Japan don't want to see a tsunami depicted right now, so they'll shelve the film until a later date...when they think they might be able to make more money off of it.
After all, I'm pretty sure murders happen in Japan, and they're not exactly pulling The Tourist due to it being 'inappropriate."