Saturday, October 08, 2011

I Don't Want To Live On This Planet Anymore

Via Gawker (EDIT: and The Escapist, which just ran this as I was also typing it up and where someone just made the same Futurama joke)

I have moments of weakness wherein I start to feel "bad" about my own intellectual-elitism... or, at the very least, feel like maybe I shouldn't be that quick to condemn the anti-intellectualism of present-day humanity. After all, "the people" cannot possibly be as dumb as I think they are, right?

Thankfully, something always comes along to remind me that it's just not possible to set the bar too low: A woman in Michigan is suing the distributors of "Drive" for misleading advertisting - specifically, she feels that she was promised "The Fast & The Furious" (no, really - she name-checks F&F in the lawsuit!) by the trailers; and that the actual film failed to deliver. She also claims that the film is anti-semitic, presumably based on scenes where a Jewish character uses "the K word" to complain about anti-semites calling him "the K word."

Ugh. I just... just... UGH...

Good for a laugh, obviously - especially when you start to wonder where this person found a lawyer when she apparently does not own a computer, phone, television, newspaper or any of the other hundreds of ways to look up what a movie is about before you see it; but frankly the idea that ANY lawyer considers this case actionable creeps the hell out of me.

The "misleading trailer" is one of the few weapons good movies have in a market where the audience is ready-and-willing to punish good movies for not living down to their expectations. Fair or not, boxoffice matters and "tricking" Michael Bay's America into occasionally shelling out for something worthwhile is one of the main ways "worthwhile" can still turn a profit.

Movies are bland enough already because studios are afraid that even appearing  to offend or challenge the sensibilities of Joe & Jane McNormal will lead to a lowered boxoffice take - how much worse will it be if they're afraid of being sued because what they've made didn't bear enough resemblance to a fucking Vin Diesel vehicle?

I used to be a movie theater usher, and occasionally had to help "negotiate" infuriated customers in such situations until the manager came over to hand them their "shut up and go away" freebie-tickets. I recall one weekend in particular where much of my evenings were spent glibly asking people if they in fact realized that the movie they'd bought a ticket for was called "SIN City."

35 comments:

TheGreenBeaner said...

These are dark times indeed. Where are the aliens? Please let them take me, because this has to be a joke.

TheGreenBeaner said...

And for the record, Drive doesn't just mean "what you do in a car." It also means "To push, propel, or press onward forcibly; urge forward." Do these people not have friends? Does anyone tell them they're fucking nuts for even considering this?

Smashmatt202 said...

Okay, someone's going to have to tell me what "the K-word" is.

Dave from canada said...

@Smash

Kike

Shaka said...

Not a chance. You can't sue over opinionated advertisements. If the judge even lets this go to court, I'd be suprised. Imagine what would happen if all advertisement had to be 100% accurate to everyone about everything. Food commercials, phone commercials, Army recruitment ads, back ads, political ads, everything would be up for grabs. Don't waste your time overly thinking about this. It's just a lawyer wanting attention and a woman with too much time and money on her hands

Shaka said...

I meant attack ads.

KevinCV said...

As someone who is also from Michigan, I'm ashamed of this woman for taking things too bloody seriously.

Is it any wonder I want to pack up and move to the UK. At least there gay people can do what the fuck they want, and are accepted in the overall culture. Plus, the media there doesn't pay much heed to the religious fundamentalists who think anything that's not in the church's preconceived notion of "normal" is synonymous with "sinful behavior".

Anonymous said...

All we can do is hope this level of stupidity is the exception and not the rule. Otherwise who wants Kool-Aid?

Anonymous said...

"The "misleading trailer" is one of the few weapons good movies have in a market where the audience is ready-and-willing to punish good movies for not living down to their expectations. Fair or not, boxoffice matters and "tricking" Michael Bay's America into occasionally shelling out for something worthwhile is one of the main ways "worthwhile" can still turn a profit."

It looks to me like you're straight-up conceding that this lawsuit is legitimate. Intentionally misleading advertising is illegal (or at a cause of action in our civil court system), and rightly so. You're usually in favor of consumer protection against unscrupulous corporate behavior. You shouldn't abandon that just because you think these particular corporations have not seen success at the hands of an ignorant public.

More generally, I've been reading your blog for awhile, and it's frustrating to see someone of such obvious intelligence partially squandering it. Knocking down the pretensions of the majority might be fun sport, but it ultimately stunts intellectual growth. It's too easy to become complacent when you're knocking down the completely sincere straw men of small minds. The real elitist stance is just not to give them the time of day. Stop mocking the Occupy Wall Street folks and start reading some Rawls. Stop laughing at terribly spelled tea party and signs and start engaging with Nozick and Hayek. Your intellectual world should be filled with your intellectual equals, not littered with the remains of those who never stood a chance. You won't grow if you're the big fish in a small pond.

Anonymous said...

The level of stupidity behind this article does not deserve the level of intelligence Anon 9:09PM's response provided.

Zacqary Adam Green said...

Really, Bob, these are the minority of humanity. I promise you. They're just extremely loud.

Angry Man said...

Well, the advertising campaign for Drive WAS terribly misleading. It did make it look like some dumbass FF type movie. If there's a lawsuit to be had, I think the producers of Drive should be suing their advertising team for doing such a shit job of it.
This is completely absurd though. What the hell is she suing for? The $11 it cost to see the movie? "Emotional distress?" I hope the judge presiding has sense enough to toss this out. Shit, it shouldn't even make it to trial.

Matt said...

Bob, Im with you on this, one hundred percent.

This person is an Idiot.

Ralphael said...

Eh. not really surprising.. although it is depressing.

When I was seeing Drive for the fourth time, there was a dumb ass who yelled out "ABOUT TIME SOMETHING HAPPENED" when *spoiler alert* Standard gets shot in killed in front of the pawn shop.

Never In my life have I ever been so close to fighting in the movie trailer.

John.E said...

Well shit. Does this mean I can sue the makers of Transformers for promising me a film about waring alien robots and instead getting a film about some generic, boring army guys and an annoying dickface going to college and getting a job?

Andrew said...

@KevinCV

You are partly right, we are starting to move from a general position of "church=good" to "church=bad" here. There are probably more negative stories in the press about religion than positive ones.
Similarly the general consensus is that being gay is fine.

We still have a plague of old/poorly educated bigots and a worrying tide of kids who use "gay" as a synonym for crap. "Ugh! I have to do maths homework. That's totes gay"

The grass is always greener on the other side (of the Atlantic) but if you do move you will see that we have problems of our own.

We still trust clever people in well paid jobs though.

If you do move, look me up. We can catch a movie.

Just Gavin said...

Sue them, more like give them a medal. If it means people expecting F+F get to see a higher breed of film, than so much the better.

ANImaniac said...

So....Much......Stupid.

I remember seeing a story about thing on the news (I live in Michigan) and thinking what the fuck is wrong with this world.
I can understand being upset by a movie for a misleading trailer, but to try and sue over it.

How much you wanna bet that thanks to this there are two more sequels green-lit for the F&F series (outside of the one that's already been green-lit).

Blue Highwind said...

I should sue the Transformers movies for advertising a giant robot movie when instead they were hours upon hours of suck.

I should sue Richard Kelly for the Box. That was advertised as a Twilight Zone episode, instead it was silly confusion and randomness.

And I should sue Captain America for advertising itself as a WWII movie, when he doesn't fight a single Nazi.

KevinCV said...

@Andrew I talk to some British people on Skype, so I've heard some things. The only thing that would take some getting used to is paying the licensing fees for TV shows like "Doctor Who". Other than that, I'm glad to know I'm partially right in my assumptions about life there. Thanks for informing me, dude.

bigjkt said...

As a black man I wasn't offended by the N-bomb being dropped by nearly half the characters in 'Pulp Fiction' because they were CRIMINALS. They were hired thugs, drug dealers, and ass rapists for crying out loud. The N-word was perversely refreshing in relative comparison to the dark shit that goes on in that film. This woman is sad simple person whose has no life and needs money. And the Ambulance chaser fueling her legal crusade should have his license revoked.

James said...

As frustrating as these idiots are, Bob, just remember that they are in the minority. They just happen to be a very LOUD minority.

Aiddon said...

so...much...STUPID!

Anonymous said...

@ KevinCV: My gosh. Why come on here and use this board as a way of pushing through your political persuasions and gloat about where you come from, the UK, and rant about Gay Rights and The Church?
What has this got to do with the original story?

Seriously. You're not from Michigan. You're not even American. You're a Brit. You gave yourself away in the first line of your post by using the word BLOODY in the context that most brits do. This is not American. It is British.

Go have a pint. Either way: Get off. Go away.

KevinCV said...

@Anonymous 7:14

I most certainly AM from Michigan. Born and raised, as a matter of fact. I just happen to watch and enjoy a lot of British TV programming, and it occasionally rubs off on how I construct my sentences.

Hell, some of it is certainly a helluva lot better than some of the crap that on TV here in the USA. Plus, Americans use the term "bloody" too. It's just not as common. If you can't handle an American talking a little like a Brit, than shut the fuck up and stop being a troll.

KevinCV said...

@Anonymous 7:14

Oh, and one more thing: I was making a comparison of how stupid the woman is for suing a movie theater to how stupid the press here in the USA always gives religious fundamentalists the spotlight when they're complaining about shit they don't like. Excuse me if the comparison was a bit flawed. My feelings about those issues still stand, however.

biomechanical923 said...

People like this woman are a blight upon the concept of storytelling....and upon art as a whole.

People like this are the reason that the new trailer for "The Thing" actually spoiled the entire movie! (I'm still pretty upset about that.... but at least now I don't expect it to be any good).

If you're going to give away the entire plot in the trailer, why even have a fucking movie?

A large portion of people are becoming so fickle that Hollywood needs to show them every action scene and twist of a movie in the fucking TRAILER, just so it can be bland and pre-digested for them before they go buy their ticket.

And we wonder why there are so many more people who talk and text throughout an entire movie. It's because a lot of them are people sitting around just waiting to see the part from the trailer again.

chartos said...

Most Lawsuits of this nature are laugh off before even they reach a jury. the only reason Frivolous lawsuits get mention is because the courts have not toss the lawsuit out yet.

Nathan said...

As sad as I am to type this. I'm almost positive that, not only will this go to trial but, she'll win. I mean let's look at precedence for a second. Does anyone here remember back in the late 90's when a woman sued Burger King because she spilled coffee in her lap and it was hot? She won. What about the lady who sued McDonalds because she engorged herself on their food and, shocker, became fat? She also won. It pains me to say that stupidity perhaps WAS the norm and that EXTREME stupidity has replaced it as the norm.

On a side note, while I'm sure she's gonna win and all of us movie lovers are going to groan because of what it's going to do to the movie business, if there were any actual merit to this, I'm almost entirely sure every Nintendo fan's parents (Including Mr. and Mrs. Moviebob) would've sued the people who made Super Mario Brothers all the way back in 93. They didn't, because the idea was and is stupid.

Phobos said...

I'm conflicted on this. I am used to the having trailers that seem to show the movie is one thing when another through clever editing. The one thing I cannot stand though is the thing that has started to increase more recently, which is movie have trailers with footage that does not turn up in the actual movie. That to me is false advertising.

Don't get me wrong I understand why it happens, makers not knowing when the exact final cut will be etc. But having these trailers still be in accurate after the movie is released.

So if the lady was suing for that, I would have some sympathy. From what I can tell though she is suing for other reasons that don;t seem very valid.

chartos said...

@Nathan

The suit you thinking of had the woman get third degree burns when she spill the coffee from McDonalds. I totally agree with on the rest of your comment though.

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