Movie Jail

On each episode of The Film Pigs Podcast we put film professionals on trial for crimes against cinema. If the verdict is guilty, the sentence is incarceration in the Robert De Niro Maximum Security Federal Penitentiary, where Hollywood feels the long hand of justice.

Robert De Niro Maximum Security Federal Penitentiary

Inmate Roll Call:

  • Michael Bay (IMDb). 3-year sentence carried out in 3 parts: 1/3 of time used to contemplate the massive decline in watchability of his movies since The Rock, 1/3 of time being chased by angry dogs, 1/3 of time on prison barge cleaning barnacles. Sentenced 5/4/2015.
  • Seth MacFarlane (IMDb). Sentenced to the HMS Pig Org prison barge where he has to swap decks and scrape barnacles for a billion years. Keelhauled 4/20/2015.
  • Barry Levinson (IMDb). Committed to Robert DeNiro Maximum Security Federal Penitentiary Asylum, cared for but prevented from writing any more movies. Committed 1/30/2015.
  • Kevin James (IMDb). Sentenced to maximum security, possible release for an indie comedy where he has to work for scale. Incarcerated December 25, 2014. (IMDb). Sentenced to maximum security, possible release for an indie comedy where he has to work for scale. Incarcerated 12/25/2014.
  • Shawn Levy (IMDb). Sentenced to life in maximum security, no possibility of parole, for being a studio kid’s movie director trying to become a studio adult movie director. Incarcerated 10/6/2014. ABP placed on Chris Columbus.
  • Disney Executives Responsible For Edgar Wright’s Departure From Ant-Man (IMDb). Sentenced to be chased by angry dogs for driving away a heavily-invested director who spent 6 years with Marvel developing the movie due to “creative differences”. Incarcerated 5/31/2014.
  • Johnny Depp (IMDb). Sentenced to 1-year minimum security for endless money-grabbing pirate movies. No scarfs, bangles, or clinking jewelry. No visitation from any of the Rolling Stones or Avon representatives. Incarcerated 4/28/2014.
  • Shia LaBeouf (IMDb). Sentenced to 1 year in minimum security upon the court learning of his claim to be retiring from public life. Sentenced 1/27/2014UPDATE: The court was a bit confused, not realizing they had already incarcerated LaBeouf in the previous session, amending his sentence to 1 year protective custody in minimum security with therapy from early-90s-thriller-era therapist Richard Gere. Then, as suggested by amicus curiae J.D. Ryznar, LaBeouf will be paroled to season 3 of True Detective with an ankle bracelet to make sure he doesn’t leave the set. Sentence amended 2/24/2014.
  • Vince Vaughn (IMDb). Sentenced to maximum security after the court is made aware he’s been in 54 awful movies. Stephen Falk censured by court for having his assitant prepare his case for him and not reading it beforehand. Incarcerated 11/22/2013.
  • Eddie Murphy (IMDb). Sentenced to the deepest depths of maximum security for no longer being the charming, hilarious comedian he was in the 1980s, instead opting for big payday/bland comedy. Eligible for parole in 5 years in case he surprises us and makes another Bowfinger. Incarcerated 9/8/2013.
  • M. Night Shyamalan (IMDb). Given the first ever Movie Jail death penalty. Do we really have to explain why? We’re not sure how long the appeals process will take. Incarcerated 6/24/2013.
  • Bruce Willis (IMDb). Sentenced to minimum security for abandoning the charming characters that defined his early career in favor of dour, world-weary, characters that seem to reflect his own personal disinterest in what he’s doing (see Harrison Ford Syndrome). Eligible for parole in 1 year or after RED 2 is released, whichever comes first. Incarcerated 5/15/2013UPDATE: Sentence extended by 1 year due to his signing on to middling sounding action movie. Sentence extended 1/27/2014.
  • Kevin Smith (IMDb). Sentenced to maximum security forever for no reason, no case presented, after court realizes he hadn’t yet been put in Movie Jail. Incarcerated 12/26/2012.
  • Seth Rogen’s laugh (IMDb). Prosecuted to fill the empty minimum security cell formerly occupied by Judd Apatow but ultimately released with a warning to lay off the weed after the court realizes Kevin Smith is not yet in Movie Jail. Rogan’s laugh, however, is locked up in maximum security for life. Incarcerated 12/26/2012.
  • Damon Lindelof (IMDb). Thrown in jail as an afterthought during Ridley Scott’s parole hearing. It’s unclear whether he was supposed to go to minimum or maximum security so he is remanded to the maximum security wing for writing scripts that use tired sci-fi tropes and failing to create characters with clear motivations and stories that have any kind of logical, satisfying endings. Hauled out of court and into jail by an angry mob on 6/25/2012.
  • Michael Mann (IMDb). Sentenced to one year in minimum security to cool down and take some classes so he’s not so much of a jerk to work with. Maybe then his movies will make money. Incarcerated 5/29/2012UPDATE: Sentence extended by 1 year for doing nothing at all since his incarceraton. Sentence extended 1/27/2014.
  • Rob Reiner (IMDb). Sentenced to the Minimum Security Wing for turning out middling studio fare and not living up to the legacy of his amazing early cross-genre work. His cell contains a television that plays his early movies on repeat 24/7. Incarcerated 3/1/2012.
  • James L. Brooks (IMDb). Sentenced to the Maximum Security for coasting on the Simpsons and not having made a truly great movie since Broadcast News. Incarcerated 2/17/2012.
  • Sam Worthington (IMDb). Sentenced to Maximum Security for being excessively bland while handsome. Movie stars should be pretty AND interesting. Incarcerated 2/3/2012.
  • Jonathan Liebesman (IMDb). Sentenced to life in Maximum Security/Hannibal Lecter Hall, for an inability to articulate his approach to or execution of Battle: Los Angeles, making him a danger to himself and others. Incarcerated 01/04/2012.
  • Dennis Dugan (IMDb). Maximum security wing, consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole. Mainly due to anything from his resume in the last 10 years. Incarcerated 10/29/2011.
  • Adam Sandler (IMDb). Maximum security wing until he makes a choice between studio comedies/no more movies for friends & low-budget comedies/movies for friends straight to DVD. It is unlawful for him to do both. Incarcerated 9/17/2011UPDATE: Parole immediately denied, no case presented. Sentence extended 1/27/2014.
  • Barry Sonnenfeld (IMDb). Minimum security wing, in recognition for his incredible work as a cinematographer. Jailed for many reasons, but “Wild, Wild, West” and “RV” should be explanation enough. Incarcerated 7/29/2011.
  • George Lucas (IMDb). Placed in protective custody in maximum security wing. I think we all know why. Incarcerated 7/12/2011.
  • America’s Movie Critics. Rounded up into “Re-Education Camp” in empty lot next to penitentiary where they will stay until they start critiquing movies from the perspective of film history and artistic merit instead of going along with what’s popular like high school kids. Also, they will be chased by angry dogs once a day. Incarcerated 6/25/2011.
  • Katherine Heigl (IMDb). Maximum security wing, until she stops complaining and takes an actual acting risk or just admits to doing movies for the huge payday. Incarcerated 6/8/2011.
  • Nicolas Cage (IMDb). Drunk tank, until he learns to pick better projects and stop wasting so much of his money. Incarcerated 5/25/2011.
  • Zack Snyder (IMDb). Maximum security wing, behind bars until he abandons comic panel recreations and gets back to story-first filmmaking. Incarcerated 5/11/2011.
  • Judd Apatow (IMDb). Minimum security wing, parole will be granted when he stops producing any comedy placed in his lap and gets back to creating the strong character-driven comedies we loved. Incarcerated 4/27/2011. UPDATE: Moved from minimum security to maximum security because he has become a danger to himself after release of the mirthless and indulgent and long THIS IS 40. Eligible for parole in 2 years, as long as he shows genuine remorse and promises to never make any movies longer than 90 minutes. Resentenced 12/26/2012./
  • Cameron Crowe (IMDb). Maximum security wing, parole will be granted when he stops making movies like Vanilla Sky. Incarcerated 4/6/2011.
  • Jay Roach (IMDb). Maximum security wing, no parole until he stops making dull studio comedies. Incarcerated 3/23/2011.
  • James Cameron (IMDb). Maximum security wing, life sentence. No parole hearing until at least those other two fucking Avatar movies have been released and are rerunning on KDOC. Incarcerated 3/2/2011.
  • Robert Downey Jr. (IMDb). Drunk tank, sleeping it off until he’s not so much of a douche. Incarcerated 1/31/2011.
  • Robert De Niro (IMDb). Maximum security wing, life sentence with no possibility of parole. He’s in the hole, deep solitary, 24-hour lockdown, no contact with other inmates. Incarcerated 1/31/2011.

Under House Arrest:

  • Christopher Nolan (IMDb). Under house arrest until he re-learns how to make a movie under 2 hours, daily viewings of the 90-mintue GRAVITY required so he can see how concise storytelling works – Martin Scorsese asked to join for at least 1 viewing a week as a warning. May be released after INTERSTELLAR opens. Sentenced 9/30/2013.

On Parole/Probation:

  • Mark Wahlberg (IMDb). Sentenced to 2 years of probation because he’s a dummy who thinks he’s smart and acts like an obnoxious mogul too much. Also because the only reason he wants a pardon is so he can expand his hamburger business. Incarcerated 12/15/2014.
  • Steve Martin (IMDb). Sentenced to parole for being an incredible talent who has chosen to make a string of crassly commercial studio movies. If he makes another commercial movie he will be immediately remanded to minimum security, banjo allowed in cell. Placed on parole (probation?) 9/17/2014.
  • Sylvester Stallone (IMDb). Sentenced to probation for abandoning his core R audience (Todd) with the PG-13 Expendables 3. If the next Rambo movie is anything other than a hard R, he is immediately whisked to prison. Placed on probation 8/20/2014.
  • Mark Duplass (IMDb) & Jay Duplass (IMDb). Minimum security wing, possibility of parole if their new movie has an actual script. Incarcerated 2/19/2011. UPDATE: The court is still wary of their mumblecore roots but they seem nice and their other movie and TV work is solid so parole is granted. Also, they’ve been in jail a really long time because we forgot. Paroled 1/27/2014.
  • Jennifer Aniston (IMDb). Minimum security wing for at least a year, so she has time to think about maybe ditching bland studio comedies and getting back to indie movies, and to stop being so sour when fun people like Jon Stewart interview her. Incarcerated 8/24/2011. UPDATE: The judge likes her funny writer beau Justin Theroux and her vacationing with Howard Stern so parole is granted. Paroled 1/27/2014.
  • Kevin Costner (IMDb). Minimum security wing for 1 year. Upon release, on parole for 5 years where he cannot direct and must find a solid sports movie where he plays the washed-up coach. Also, no country rock band. Incarcerated 9/3/2011. UPDATE: The court forgot to review his case as scheduled in 2012, but his upcoming movies seem to fulfill his parole requirements. Plus, the ballsiness of being the mentor in the 2014 Jack Ryan movie while at the same time being the action hero in another thriller at the same time earns his release to parole for 5 years. Paroled 1/27/2014.
  • Kristen Stewart (IMDb). Found guilty of doing nothing onscreen, taking no risks, and not seeming to want to be involved in movies at all. Sentenced to 1 year parole to prove she wants to be an actor. If she has not turned in an acceptable performance during this time, she will be allowed to enter Witness Protection where she can exit acting and celebrity and find out what she actually wants to do with her life. Todd Robert Anderson found in contempt of court for being mouthy. Sentenced 12/6/2013.
  • Ridley Scott (IMDb). On parole, but must wear ankle bracelet until Prometheus comes out. If it is a return to form, and not a desperate cash-in on his early masterpieces, he’ll be free to go. Sentenced Sentenced 11/10/2011. UPDATE:  Scott will remain on parole until his Blade Runner sequel is released. If that one sucks, he goes straight to prison without trial. Parole upheld 6/25/2011.
  • John Singleton (IMDb). On parole until he stops making bland studio movies for the paycheck and goes back to telling personal stories. Must wear ankle bracelet that sounds an alarm if he sets foot on a major studio lot. Sentenced Sentenced 9/30/2011.

Undergoing Federal Investigation:

  • Marketing Department For Motion Picture “HUGO” (IMDb). Not incarcerated, but subject of an ongoing federal investigation to determine the need for regulations concerning what a film’s marketing department can claim about a movie’s content. “HUGO” marketing department singled out because the movie trailer promised a family-friendly adventure with a magical mechanical man when the movie was really about a sad old guy in a train station. Also of interest to the investigation is the marketing department for “DRIVE”. Investigation begun Investigation begun 12/8/2011.

Miscellaneous Punishments:

  • Lana (IMDb) and Lilly (IMDb) Wachowski. Court order requiring their next movie to be of indie budget scale and contain no CGI at all. Sentenced 2/26/2015.
  • Sam Raimi (IMDb). Sentenced to 5 years of making independent movies with budgets of $15 million or less. Maybe this should be under “parole”? The court is pretty unclear about this one. Sentenced Sentenced 6/4/2013.
  • Fines levied against “American Pie presents” (IMDb) and Wes Craven (IMDb) for the cheap trick of slapping their names on productions they have little to do with other than having their names above the title. Guillermo del Toro (IMDb)and Quentin Tarantino (IMDb) are given warnings. Fined 2/1/2013.
  • Jeff Bridges (IMDb). Fined by the court due to his excessive commercial work taking jobs away from struggling scale actors. No jail time, but money from his battery and car commercials will go to fund a poor actor’s old folks home. Or something like that – this was a very confusing case. Fined 5/7/2012.

Released, Debt To Society Paid:

  • John Cusack (IMDb). On parole. He’s cool, as long as his pee is clean. Sentenced 1/31/2011. UPDATE: Released from parole due to the value of him possibly making another great movie outweighing the junk that got him in trouble. FIRST MOVIE PROFESSIONAL RELEASED BACK INTO SOCIETY! THE SYSTEM WORKS! Released 1/27/2014.

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