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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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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