DID YOU READ

Woman sues “Drive” for not being “Fast and Furious”

Woman sues “Drive” for not being “Fast and Furious” (photo)

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We’ve all gone to see movies based on trailers that turned out to be not entirely true. If you went to see “The Road” after checking out its trailer, for example, you were probably wondering where the hell Charlize Theron went. In the trailer, she looks like one of the main characters. In the movie — SPOILER ALERT! — she’s dead before the opening credits and appears only in flashbacks.

What we all haven’t done is walked out a movie and decided to sue its distributor for misleading us. But that’s exactly what one woman did last week to Filmdistrict, the distributor of the new movie “Drive.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sarah Deming of Michigan has filed suit against Filmdistrict for promoting “Drive” “as very similar to the ‘Fast and Furious,’ or similar, series of movies” when in fact, the suit alleges:

“…”‘Drive’ bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture… ‘Drive’ was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.”

It did? I thought the movie was equally violent against members of all faiths — and if you want to be really technical about it, most of the onscreen violence was committed by Jews against characters whose religious affiliations are unclear. But whatever, that’s really not the main issue.

The main issue is the trailer, which Deming argues misled her into believing “Drive” would deliver a similar experience to “The Fast and the Furious” (essentially she’s complaining about the very thing that critics love about the film — namely its romantic, poetic take on the heist genre). Let’s take a look at the trailer in question and see whether it’s misleading. Here it is:

For point of comparison, here’s the trailer to the original “The Fast and the Furious”:

Hard to say that “Drive” sells itself like a “Fast and Furious” movie when you see how a “Fast and Furious” movie sells itself. “TF&TF”‘s trailer has lot more quick cuts, a lot more CGI shots inside engines, and a lot of dudes wearing shirts with no sleeves acting macho. Which brings me to the part of Deming’s lawsuit I really don’t understand, and what I don’t understand about other people complaining that they didn’t like “Drive” because the trailer misled them: the “Drive” trailer is actually too accurate. It may not depict the full scope of the onscreen violence, it may not fully imply how slow certain portions of the film are, but it reveals almost every major details of the plot, including the twist about Carey Mulligan’s character’s husband returning from prison and the major double-cross during the big heist scene. To my eyes, it doesn’t contain any footage that doesn’t appear in the film itself, something you occasionally see in trailers for stuff that undergo significant revision in the editing room. Deming would have a much stronger case if she was suing because she felt like she saw the entire movie in the trailer, because basically she did.

Deming wants her ticket price refunded and the practice of “misleading” Hollywood trailers ended. Here’s the problem: Misleading trailers like the one for “The Road” might be frustrating, and maybe they do sometimes cross the line from fudging the truth to false advertising (“Four out of five doctors agree: ‘Drive’ is a smash-hit!”). But what’s the alternative? Trailers going even further than “Drive” to explain every last detail of what you’re going to see in a movie? Sports movie trailers that show you the last play? Horror movie trailers that reveal the identity of the killer? If the trailer tells you exactly what the movie is and what happens, why even bother going to the movies in the first place?

One of the fundamental pleasures of film is surprise. The day the movies lose that, is the day the movies lose my interest. If I can predict a movie’s ending from its trailer, that’s a bad thing. Maybe not according to Deming, but definitely according to me.

What’s the most misleading film trailer of all time? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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