5 Behind The Scenes Stories That Ruin Great Movies

Making a movie is hard. Every project involves a lot of talented people's blood, sweat, and tears. Those bodily fluids are then mixed together in a giant vat until they are a smooth, black slurry. Then that slurry is drunk by a director who speaks the incantation and then, infused with the sacred powers, makes a movie. If he says the incantation right, we get a film charming enough to inoculate us against the pain of living in this crapsack world.

The problem arises when the Money Men (a species of parasitic squid that scurry around the bottom of large creative projects) sneak into the vat of movie-juice and take a big old steaming shit right in there. Just a huge plop of crap right into that pristine blend of blood, sweat, and tears. And when we drink our cinematic elixir, we are poisoned, and we don't even know it.

#5. Marvel Fought In A Court Of Law To Get Mutants Defined As Non-Human

X-Men have appeared in comics, several Saturday morning cartoons, and eight movies, each with their own baffling continuity. But through all that, the stories have stayed true to one simple idea: Our mutant heroes, though different, deserve to be treated the same as all other human beings. In fact, the X-Men can easily be tied to the most topical civil rights questions of the day: In the '60s, Professor X and Magneto could be compared to Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, while today the stories are usually read as a gay rights parable.

And Marvel stands by this 100 percent. Mutants are people and deserve equal treatment, until that idea costs literally any money, in which case the whole damn thing can, well ...

Marvel
I don't like to use dirty words.

Back in 1994, Marvel and Toy Biz went to court to argue that their X-Men action figures are non-human monsters rather than human dolls. Why? Because money, obviously: Imported human dolls were taxed slightly more non-human dolls. That's right: Our toy import laws are speciesist. Go make a Tumblr about it.

So Marvel's lawyers went to the judge and said, "These characters can't be human: Beast is blue! And Wolverine has scary claws!" The argument was literally that the characters shouldn't count as human because they look different. Even though, in the case of Wolverine, it's because a mad scientist mutilated him against his will.

Fox
If he's human, then why can't he walk? Checkmate, SJWs.

If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the exact same arguments every X-Men villain has ever used. The judge not only agreed, he decided to publicly humiliate Audrey Hepburn. Wait, what? Sorry, I got my notes mixed up. Let me start over. The judge not only agreed, she eventually ruled that all Marvel heroes -- not just the mutants, all of them -- are non-human. Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark -- all inhuman monsters in the eyes of the law, and all sold out to satisfy Marvel's greed. As if "money" is all any of this was ever about. Man, it's really starting to feel like the people who named their eye-laser superhero "Cyclops" don't take their work very seriously.

#4. The Real Jordan Belfort Hypes Himself In The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Wolf Of Wall Street is about Jordan Belfort, the Wall Street criminal who defrauded* $110 million from 1,513 innocent people in the '90s. It's pretty good, too. My only criticism is that they gave the guy they were supposed to be criticizing a glamorous cameo where he gets to pimp his own real-life business.

Paramount Pictures
*"Defraud" is rich-person for "steal."

In that scene, Jordan Belfort (the real one) delivers a monologue where he describes himself as a "bad motherfucker" and "the world's greatest sales trainer," right before Belfort (as portrayed by 1998 MTV Movie Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio) steps on stage in a pressed white shirt and DiCaprios the fuck out of the scene. Even worse, the scene is a re-creation of something that really happened. Belfort really held that training seminar. Everyone in that room paid $500 to be there, and some paid $2,400 for a 10-CD, 10-DVD kit to learn how to rip people off the way Belfort did. The guy can't even do a legal job without making it sound like a con.

Paramount Pictures
On the other hand, look how miserable this movie makes crime look!

Even though this is a scene where a convicted con-artist promotes his newest real-life venture, I still get what Scorsese was going for. It's meant to make me uncomfortable by reminding me that Belfort's crimes were inadequately punished and there's always a new batch of suckers to be taken in by the goblins. But while the scene is telling me that, it is also advertising Belfort's real business, Straight Line. Seriously: If you Google the words that show up on the stage behind Belfort in the movie's last scene, you're taken straight to Belfort's website, which proudly plasters the words "As seen in the blockbuster movie The Wolf Of Wall Street" right above the buttons that will allow you to willingly give your own money to a man famous for tricking people into giving him their money. I know I'm repeating myself a lot, but I can't stress this enough. The movie ends with an advertisement for the thing it's been supposedly indicting the entire time. This is like if the Special Edition Scarface DVD had the phone number of your local coke dealer written on it, or if every viewing of Requiem For A Dream ended with Jared Leto jumping out from behind your couch to inject heroin in your eyeball.

#3. Mad Max: Fury Road Fucked Up A National Park

Mad Max: Fury Road is the best environmentalist movie ever, because no future has ever looked as bleak as this one. Water is a scarce commodity controlled by warlords. Trees are so rare that Nicholas Hoult doesn't even know what they are. And worst of all, Mad Max's super cool Ford Falcon has been totally destroyed.

Warner Bros.
Again!

It's just too bad they had to ruin a desert to do it.

One of the hardest parts of filming Mad Max was finding a part of the world that looked as badass as what we see on-screen. Pretty much the only place that fit is the Namib Desert in Africa. It's a place between 50 million and 80 million years old and absolutely packed with rare cacti and endangered reptiles. Was, anyway, before George Miller and friends showed up and drove exploding trucks all over it.

Warner Bros.
Fourteen species of lizard were incinerated to make this badass scene.
Which is worth it, depending on how much you like lizards.

The issue is that the Namib Desert gets less than half an inch of rain per year, which means the plants and animals are dependent mostly on fog for moisture. Tire tracks affect the dispersal of water and can take decades, if not centuries, to disappear. And you may have noticed that this movie has a lot of cars.

Things got worse when someone on the Mad Max crew got the bright idea to sweep up the tire tracks by dragging a net over them. The tire tracks got smoothed out, but the delicate vegetation got ripped up, so it ended up being a lose-lose situation for the plants.

Turns out when Angharad asks, "Who killed the world?" the answer is, "You guys. The ones making this movie. Right now."

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J.F. Sargent

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