Undoubtedly my favourite film news story of the week has been the story from The Hollywood Reporter about a lady from Michigan, USA who filed a lawsuit against the production company FilmDistrict over the apparently ‘misleading’ trailer for the film Drive.
Her claim being that the trailer ‘promoted the film Drive as very similar to The Fast and The Furious, or similar, series of movies…’ and was disappointed that Drive had ‘very little driving’. Though I think her definition of ‘driving’ is actually ‘car chases’, because there’s plenty of driving in drive, it’s just not all driving with Vin Diesel leaning out the window holding an AK-47 or whatever. Even more bafflingly her suit goes on to claim that Drive contains ‘extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith’. In short the lady is an idiot, and I hope this case is thrown out of court and into a sack and into a river where it’s beaten with sticks.
What’s even more incredibly ridiculous is the only thing she actually wants from this lawsuit is the price of her ticket to be refunded, which FilmDistrict were more than willing to do, yet, for some reason – *COUGH* attention seeking *COUGH* – she went the whole lawsuit route instead.
But, in recent times we’ve had Tom Hanks refund cinemagoers their tickets because they were let down by Larry Crowne, so maybe there’s something in it for her… Now, I thought going to the cinema was always going to be something of a gamble, even if a film looks great in all the trailers you still might not enjoy it and unless there’s something wrong with the way the film is projected or the audience is truly disruptive or the cinema burns down, I don’t think you really have much of a right to ask for your money back. It’s like buying your first ever toaster and then taking it back because you don’t like the taste of the otherwise perfectly toasted toast.
However, all this abject stupidity got me thinking about a few things that maybe we SHOULD sue Hollywood over…
5. Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Specifically I’m referring to an interview I remember reading with Steven Spielberg during early production on Indy 4 where he assured people that the film would use practical effects for most of the spectacle in the latest Indiana Jones adventure. That’s what always made Indy so great, that it – for the most part – relied on good old fashioned film-making with a effects thrown in to only complete the absolutely impossible.
However, it was clear from shot one of Indy 4 that Spielberg had lied through his beard, the Paramount logo fades into a CG stack of dirt that houses a CG gopher, soon we’re off to a CG warehouse climaxing in a CG rocket car that leads our hero to a CG fridge that flies away from a CG explosion and later CG jungles with CG ants and CG monkeys and CG car chases with the grand finale taking place in front of CG aliens who leave the planet in their CG spaceship as the entire temple crashes around them like a Windows PC.
4. The Expendables
The greatest action movie team ever assembled… for the poster at least. Sly’s movie was based entirely on a lie, the idea that all these stars would get together to kick butt when in fact the scene featuring Sly, Schwarzenegger and Willis is edited in just such a way that the three of them may not have even been in the same room. What we’re left with is a bunch of wrestlers and cage fighters milling about in the background of a Stallone and Statham buddy movie with cameos by Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and Mickey Rourke… er, woo?
3. Clash Of The Titans
It’s in 3D, honest… Retro-fitted hastily after the success of Avatar, Clash of the Titans was the first of the wave of films to be converted from 2D to 3D in post in order to cash in on the audience’s appetite for a more ‘immersive’ experience having completely forgotten that it was Cameron’s ability as a filmmaker rather than the fact that things floated in front of your eyes a bit closer that made audience’s – bafflingly – love the film so much.
Clash of the Titans had all the depth of a paddling pool, its 3D makeover akin to those View-Master toys of my childhood that basically put different 2D photos on to a piece of film so that when looked at through the binocular handset the rocks appeared close whilst the fish appeared distant.
Wow, it’s like watching a shoebox theatre remake of the film with 2D (in more ways than one) Sam Worthington standing in front of a 2D desert with a CG giant scorpion not really thrustings its stinger at the audience because the film was never intended to be in 3D so tended to avoid the kind of gimmicky shots that can at least make 3D trash worthwhile (see; Brendan Fraser gobbing in the audience’s face in Journey To The Centre Of The Earth). Admittedly Clash of the Titans wasn’t the worst 2D to 3D conversion, that honour befalls Alice in Wonderland which is the 9th most successful film of all time to boot, poor Clash Of The Titans has to make do for 92 with a paltry $493.2 million at the worldwide box office compared to Alice’s $1,024,300,000.
I think we all deserve a slice of that for the suffering we’ve endured…
2. Reign Of Fire
THIS NEVER HAPPENS!!!
There’s plenty of films on Nicolas Cage’s recent CV that seem deserving of a class action law suit, but, for me, none more so than the action-thriller Next.
Next is about a guy who can see a few minutes into the future, he uses this to his advantage working as a stage magician. Though he’s having these dreams about Jessica Biel and Nic thinks if he meets Jessica something great would happen, that maybe he’d see further into the future than ever before, or he’d get laid, or something… Anyway, sure enough, he meets Jessica Biel and they fall in luv. But suddenly Julianne Moore from the FBI turns up and they want to use Nic’s powers for something, but Nic’s not having any of that and he and Jessica go on the run from both the FBI and some evil Russians.
After an hour or so of this Nic finally agrees to listen to the FBI and they tell him that the Russians have put a bomb somewhere and they need Nic’s predicting powers to help stop it. So, Nic helps them, they go to a big boat, have a shoot out, stop the bomb and save the world. But then Nic suddenly realises he’s wrong and there’s another bomb somewhere else, but by then it’s too late and the bomb blows up killing millions of people…
At which point Nic wakes up.
He is in bed with Jessica Biel shortly after they first met and did the business and, indeed, meeting her did give him a longer psychic vision than ever before, he envisioned the whole movie, it was all a dream. Then Julianne Moore knocks on the door and instead of running Nic says; ‘Ok, I will help you.’ The end.
When you’re a kid writing stories for the first time you will inevitably get yourself out of a bind by using the ‘It was all a dream’ ending, and even as a kid your teacher will tell you ‘That isn’t a very good ending.’
Unfortunately for audiences the film wasn’t ‘all a dream’, so not only have they lost their ticket price but two pointless hours of their life on the most unforgivably bad film of Nicolas Cage’s career.
So, what films or film-makers would you sue and why?
This article was first posted on October 11, 2011