Movie Predictions: The Biggest Films of 2014 – Part II (Cont.)

13 Apr



As we discussed in part one of this post, there are few safer strategies for profitable movie making than to release a sequel to a successful film, which is why studios green light so many of them (for example, I think we’re up to Fast & Furious 19). The main reason for this is that you can leverage an already existing audience, and expand from there. It’s a similar theory behind rebooting franchises: studios hope that there is a readymade audience upon which to build, and therefore a higher chance of a strong return on investment. There are a couple of reboots coming out this year for just that reason, one of which is Godzilla.

The last iteration of the story of this beloved building-destroying giant lizard was a much maligned and quickly forgotten effort in 1998. Nonetheless, that film earned $379 million (the third biggest worldwide earner of the year), meaning that this year’s Godzilla has every chance to break the bank. The Godzilla character is well known worldwide, and international markets are a lot bigger than they were in the 90s. The floor for this reboot has to be above the last remake, and the ceiling could be anywhere if they get it right. As long as Godzilla doesn’t destroy it first in a fit of rage.

Prognosis: Godzilla will smash skyscrapers and box office receipts alike. $500 – $600 million.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In 2007, Michael Bay took a popular ‘80s cartoon called Transformers and adapted it for the big screen. He made a ton of money and three sequels, the most recent coming out this year, and so he’s decided to do it again with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Even though Bay is only producing and not directing, TMNT looks like it’s going to follow a similar format to Transformers with lots of action and lots of special effects. Heck, it’s even got Megan Fox starring as April O’Neil.

How will it do? Like Transformers, TMNT will hope to get viewers from multiple markets, namely fans of the original series and movie, as well as current youngsters who have enjoyed a resurgence of the radical reptiles in their most recent cartoon incarnation. However there has already been negative backlash from a vocal number of fanboys, particularly when Bay announced that the ‘mutant’ turtles would in fact be ‘aliens’. Can’t you read the name of your own movie?!? Bay quickly changed his mind with that, but criticism still followed, most notably about the look of the turtles. Nonetheless, I’m sure the film will do well, if not Transformers well.

Prognosis: With two big films out, it’s going to be a totally tubular year for Michael Bay. Cowabunga! $400 – $500 million.

Teen Fiction Adaptations

Some of the biggest movies in recent years have been adaptations of young adult novels, and studios are searching ever more keenly for a successful book series to alchemise into a film franchise. And why not? The five Twilight films brought in almost $3.5 billion, and the Harry Potter franchise a whopping $7.7 billion.  Yowsers.

The problem is, for every booming success, there are dozens of others that rank between middling efforts and abject bombs.

Will there be a new Hunger Games this year, or just a series of fizzling projects that fail to take flight? I think there will be two films that could, if things go right, approach the half billion dollar benchmark.


This film is based on the first in a trilogy of dystopian young adult novels centred on a world that divides people into five different factions. The protagonist, Tris, is secretly a Divergent: she doesn’t fit properly into any faction. This means, of course, that the bad guys will want her dead. Oh dear.

There are some similarities between Divergent and The Hunger Games, which is no doubt why the producers took interest, and what they hope to emulate in terms of box office takings. Both have a young heroine, both are set in a futuristic dystopia, and both are based on trilogies that were recently published and successful almost immediately (Divergent was published in 2011).

And if any young adult novel adaptation is going to catch fire as much as The Hunger Games, this will be it (the studios are banking on it – the remaining two films in the trilogy are set to hit screens over the next two years). However that is a very high standard, one I don’t think it will reach.  I wouldn’t worry too much though, it will still make plenty of money.

Prognosis: The future may look grim for Tris, but not for the studios. $500 – $600 million.

The Fault in Our Stars

This could be a big year for Shailene Woodley. Not only does she star as Tris in Divergent, she is also starring in the adaptation of the John Green novel, The Fault in Our Stars. The films couldn’t be more different, however, The Fault in Our Stars following two teens who fall in love after meeting at a cancer support group.

The book debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List in January 2012, and the film rights were sold in the same month, so needless to say, the fan base is there. However, generally speaking studios will have a tougher time making money out of a straight romance novel than an action thriller. Still, if the film is executed well, and receives positive reviews and word of mouth praise, it could build a strong audience that sustains over a long screening period. That’s a lot of ifs though.

Prognosis:  $200 – $300 million.


A Million Ways to Die in the West

If superhero sequels are the luxury items of movies, then comedies are the generic brands: they are cheap to finance and quick to make meaning that while they usually produce a good return on investment, they rarely bring in huge box office totals. Every now and then, however, a comedy resonates with the public in a big way, and joins the action blockbusters at the box office big boys’ table.

One such movie was Ted, the first feature film by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. That potty-mouthed teddy bear turned a $50 million budget into $549.4 million of box office receipts. That’s extremely impressive, and MacFarlane hopes to do it again with his follow up project, A Million Ways to Die in the West.

This time, MacFarlane is putting himself on camera as Albert, a cowardly farmer in the wild west who develops a crush on the new woman and town, only for her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, to arrive on the scene.

One thing this movie has going for it is the cast. Joining MacFarlane is Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick-Harris, and several other big names. Will that translate into Ted level success? I’m going to guess no, and put Ted down as lightning in a bottle.

Prognosis: This town ain’t big enough for the both us. $250 – $350 million.

22 Jump Street

The only other comedy that has any chance of making significant money is 22 Jump Street. The original movie, 21 Jump Street, was a surprise hit (although it was a reboot of sorts, so maybe that should have tipped us off). Somehow, turning a TV crime drama from the ‘80s into a modern action comedy film – starring a guy who basically hadn’t done a comedy before – actually worked. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill had undeniable chemistry, and they’re back for the follow up.

Unlike action sequels, comedy sequels are hard to get right. Even if 22 Jump Street does manage it, which it well could, it will need to more than double the earnings of the original, which took in $201.6 million. I don’t see that happening.

Prognosis: The sequel’s earnings will jump from the original, but not by enough. $250 – $350 million.

The Scoreboard

We’ve looked at exactly 20 films to see how they’ll fare this year, and if I’m right three will join the billion dollar club, eight will make half a billion, and another four could gross half a billion if things go right. Only time will tell whether my predictions will be close to being correct, but one thing’s for sure: with the amount of money flying being spent at the box office I should quit my day job and become a movie producer.

Do you agree or disagree with the predictions? Any films you think should have made the list? Comment below!

Movie Predictions: The Biggest Films of 2014 – Part II

10 Apr

In Part I of this post we looked at some films almost certain to top this year’s worldwide box office rankings, and possibly join the billion dollar club. We also looked at some big sequels which should earn half a billion and beyond.

In Part II of this post, we turn our attention to a few other movies that are hoping to give the half billion dollar mark a nudge, including some fresh blockbusters from big name actors and directors, some reboots, some young adult novel adaptations, and a pair of comedies.


Edge of Tomorrow

Here’s a figure that might make your head explode quicker than the bad guys’ hideout at the end of an action blockbuster: $3,213,000,000. That’s how much money Tom Cruise’s films have grossed over the course of his career.   Just in America. I would do the maths on his worldwide numbers but my calculator doesn’t go that high.

Needless to say, whatever your opinion of the man might be, Cruise is as big a box office lock as any actor of the last 40 years. He’s hoping to do it again with this year’s Edge of Tomorrow.

Edge of Tomorrow is a sci-fi pic centring on Cruise repeatedly reliving the same day of a war against alien forces. Think Groundhog Day except if Bill Murray was blasting extra-terrestrials with plasma rays (I’d totally watch that movie by the way). 2012’s Oblivion managed a decent $286.2 million worldwide, and it wasn’t long ago when Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol raked in almost $700 million, so Cruise can still bring people into the cinemas. He’s also surrounded by a solid cast, including Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Jeremy Piven, so this film should work.

That said, I think there are too many must see blockbusters this year for Edge of Tomorrow to make a huge impact. It should top Oblivion, but not by much.  Although there might be a huge demand to see Tom Cruise die over and over and over…

Prognosis: This film will be on the edge of blockbuster successes. $300 – $350 million.


Someone else who has been box office gold in recent years is Christopher Nolan. The writer/director’s last three films (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, The Dark Knight) grossed almost $3 billion between them. Will his latest project, Interstellar, be just as successful?

The odds are on his side. As is usual with his films, the cast is stellar (or should that be interstellar?). Some of the usual suspects are there – Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine – and they are joined by the likes of Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, and reigning Academy Award Best Actor Matthew McConaughey. That’s pulling power.

The trailer doesn’t give much away, but that’s how Nolan likes it.  Based on resume only, you’d have to assume this will be a hit.

Prognosis: The movie will be astronomical in name and earnings. $500 – $600 million.

Jupiter Ascending

Another sci-fi blockbuster, Jupiter Ascending is the latest effort of the Wachowski siblings. Unlike Nolan, the Wachowskis’ stock has stagnated since an extremely promising start; although 2012’s Cloud Atlas did respectfully in foreign markets, it bombed in the US, barely scraping in $27 million at the box office. Will Jupiter Ascending capture audience’s imaginations, like bullet time in The Matrix? Or will it simply confuse audiences, like the Architect’s speech in The Matrix Reloaded?

It’s not easy to tell. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis should attract viewers, and the trailers look beautiful, but they also show that the plot is likely to be as unconventional as Cloud Atlas. That might be a problem, given that audiences shunned that film for more familiar and easily digestible superhero movies and sequels. If I had to guess, I’d say the returns will be an improvement on Cloud Atlas, but not in the same class as others on this list. However ultimately I wouldn’t be surprised with any figure.

Prognosis: It could go any way, but in all likelihood, Jupiter won’t ascend all that far. $200 – $400 million.


This one will be interesting. In a vacuum, an action/disaster movie starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Nick Nolte and Anthony Hopkins, with a budget of $125 million, and written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, would seem like a sure fire candidate to make half a billion dollars. However Noah, of course, has an added element: it is a tale lifted from the Bible.

And by lifted I mean ‘the basic premise of the story of Noah has been taken and adapted into an action film’, if the trailers are anything to go by. How will audiences react? Will Christians shun it as blasphemy? Will non-Christians ignore it as a religious film?

Well the initial box office returns have been strong, and the last time we saw a controversial religious film on the big screen The Passion of the Christ ended up being the a huge hit, particularly in the US, where $370.8 of its $611.9 million were earned.

Noah could have bombed badly, and it’s clear that it won’t, but I’m not convinced it will be a story for the ages.

Prognosis: Aronofsky’s prayers will be answered, and Noah won’t drown. $400 – $500 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel has been meticulous with their film planning over the last decade and getting the most out of their cache of characters. As we’ve seen, the results speak for themselves, with any recent movie associated with their name coming with a blank cheque from the box office. So it’s nice to see them take a bit of a risk, which is exactly what Guardians of the Galaxy is.

Guardians does not have any of Marvel’s big name characters, and it’s adapted from a comic that not many people have heard of. It is also a little more out there than most of Marvel’s films to date, with aliens that look like trees and talking racoons. So will audiences be interested?

Guessing the ceiling on this one is tough, but I’m well and truly in the camp that wants and expects this to be a hit. If anyone can afford to throw some money into marketing, it’s Marvel, and the trailer looks extremely fun. Chris Pratt is perfect to play wise guy Peter Quill, and the likes of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voice some of the other characters. I’m saying that Guardians hits the mark as a fun space romp and gives Marvel another hit.

Prognosis: Marvel at this money making machine. $400 – $600 million.

Check back in soon for the next page of this post

Movie Predictions – The Biggest Films of 2014 – Part I (Cont.)

27 Mar

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Speaking of cash cows, how smart do Marvel look for the way they approached the Avengers franchise? Everything Avengers related has turned to gold, highlighted by the first Avengers film taking in a staggering $1.52 billion worldwide, making it the third highest earner of all time.

It’s worked for the solo films too. The most recent Thor and Iron Man films earned $644.6 and $1,215.4 million respectively, Iron Man 3 ranking fifth all time.

However Captain America: The First Avenger didn’t do quite so well. It earned $370.6 million, which isn’t shabby by any stretch, but not quite as strong as its franchise friends. Can Captain America: Winter Soldier improve?

One thing going against the Captain as a character is that outside of the US, he isn’t very popular. The pro-American elements of the first film’s storyline didn’t help, and this was reflected at the box office. Perhaps the best comparison is with Thor. Both films were released in 2011, and both earned virtually identical amounts in the US. However Thor earned almost 40% more than Captain America: The First Avenger in overseas markets.

It’s possible that overseas markets will continue to overlook Captain America, but I don’t think so. For one thing, The Avengers was released after CA:TFA, and now audiences are more familiar and accepting of the character. Also, Marvel is marketing the movie as a thriller, seemingly dialling down the ‘America rules!’ cheerleading a notch. I think this film will be another huge success.

Prognosis: There’s nothing more American than chasing the dollar. $500 – $700 million.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprise hit of 2011, pleasing critics and audiences alike with its unexpectedly touching tale of Caesar the ape, expertly played by Andy Serkis using motion caption technology. The sequel is being released this year, and could well be even more successful.

Caesar’s first tale took in $481.8 million, and there’s no reason to believe the sequel can’t exceed that. No doubt it will also rekindle the debate as to whether or not motion capture performances should be recognised in acting awards. Why not I say – they’re more realistic than some actors’ performances. *Cough cough* Kristen Stewart *Cough cough*.

Prognosis: Caesar’s empire grows richer. $500 – $600 million.

300: Rise of an Empire

The producers made a mistake by not calling this film 301, but otherwise they appear to be on a winner. The original 300 earned $456.1 million, which would suggest that a sequel would break half a billion easily. However given the seven year gap between films, the less than deafening cries for a sequel in that time, and the amount of more anticipated blockbusters this year, I’m a little sceptical about the financial success of 300: Rise of an Empire. It won’t flop by any stretch – especially if the 3D ticket returns are strong – but I see it falling just short of the magic half billion dollar mark.

Prognosis: This will not be Rise of the Box Office Grossings, but it will still earn a dollar for every chiselled ab seen on screen. $400 – $500 million.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The X-Men franchise has spawned six films in the fourteen years since that very first mutation. Whilst there have been some disappointments (X3: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), generally this is a well-liked franchise full of iconic characters and unusually strong casts for the genre. It is a surprise, then, that while other superhero films routinely break the half billion and even billion dollar mark, not a single X-Men film has earned more than $459.4 million.

That drought will end with X-Men: Days of Future Past. With a plot that crosses multiple timelines, virtually all of the important characters from present day X-Men films will join the characters from X-Men: First Class, creating an ensemble cast of characters and actors that puts The Avengers to shame. I doubt it will earn The Avengers type money, but it will easily be the most successful X-Men film to date.

Prognosis: This film will mutate into a money earning machine. $500 – $750 million.

Log in soon for Part II of this post.

Movie Predictions – The Biggest Films of 2014 – Part I

25 Mar

The Lego Movie was released barely a month ago (it hasn’t been released in Australia yet) and it has already grossed US$391 million worldwide, the highest grossing film of 2014 so far. Clearly it is on its way to smashing past the half billion dollar mark, which got me wondering, what other films this year will reach that financial benchmark?  Will any break the fabled one billion dollar barrier? Of the eighteen films to have grossed over a billion dollars, eleven have come in this decade, so it’s not only possible, but probable.

In part one of this post, we look at the films that will definitely be successful at the box office and threaten to join those eighteen movies in the elite billion dollar club, as well as some big sequels and how much they might earn. Later we’ll look at other films that could be box office juggernauts, including a few dark horses to reach half a billion and beyond.

And just to clarify: this is not a commentary on what will be the best films of the year, just the biggest earners. Although no doubt there will be some overlap.

(All figures are in $US and taken from at the time of posting.)

The Sure Fire Mega-Hits

The Hobbit: There and Back Again


Let’s see.  The worldwide grossing for the three Lord of the Rings films were, in order, $871.5 million, $926 million, and $1,119.9 million.

The first two Hobbit films grossed $1,017 million and $944.4 million (and counting).

Given that pedigree, there is little doubt that The Hobbit: There and Back Again will join its predecessors in earning its producers more loot than all the gold in the Lonely Mountain.  The real question is whether this final tale of Middle Earth can outdo The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, currently the seventh highest grossing film of all time.  Given that There and Back Again will not only offer closure on this story arc, but will be the last opportunity for film goers to enjoy Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth, my prediction is that it will comfortably break the one billion dollar mark. However given that the Hobbit series is slightly less epic than the LOTRs series, I don’t think it will quite overtake The Return of the King. Still, I don’t think the film’s backers will be complaining.

Prognosis: Not even Smaug can prevent The Hobbit: There and Back Again from bringing home the loot. $1 billion +

The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, Part 1


Following the trend of recent young adult fiction series adaptations, the final book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy is being split into two parts. (And like other recent young adult adaptation finales, will include all kinds of punctuation in the title.) Is this for artistic reasons? Um, right – and the Capitol has the Districts’ best interests at heart.  No, by splitting the film in two the makers of this franchise hope to also follow the trend of those films other young adult films (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1) and earn their way to box office glory.

And it will.

The first movie in the series, The Hunger Games, was a success, earning $691.2 million worldwide.  The sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was superior to its predecessor in every way, and it showed in its box office receipts: a cool $864.3 million.  The upward trend should continue, especially given Jennifer Lawrence’s current status as Hollywood’s ‘It’ girl, and with Philip Seymour-Hoffman’s tragic death.  Expect Mocking Jay, Part 1 to give the billion dollar mark a good nudge.

Prognosis: When it comes to this film breaking the bank, the odds are ever in their favour.  $1 billion.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Unlike the Hunger Games franchise, the Transformers franchise hasn’t received as much critical acclaim. In fact, the second instalment, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, was heavily criticised, for everything from its ludicrous plot to its inane humour (because racist robots are funny!)  But that didn’t stop the film – or the others in the franchise – enjoying massive box office success.

So far the films have earned $709.7, $836.3, and $1,123.8 million, the most recent, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, being the sixth highest earning film of all time.  Whilst there will be a few changes with the latest instalment – out goes Shia LaBouf and in comes Mark Wahlberg – it will no doubt follow the same formula of lots of action, explosions and amazing special effects.  And Dinobots! It will also no doubt have the same level of success.

Say what you want about Michael Bay, but the man knows how to deliver action blockbusters that appeal to the masses. Transformers: Age of Extinction could be another billion dollar earner.

Prognosis: Autobots, roll out…your bank notes! $1 billion.

The (Other) Big Sequels

Did you notice anything in common with the sure fire mega-hits?  Yep, they are all sequels to successful movies.  Film studios love nothing more than backing franchises that have already provided them with good returns.  With a readymade fan base, and often bigger budgets to produce and market the films, sequels can often outperform their forerunners financially.  That is, if they get them right.

The following sequels will be hoping to break the bank in a big way.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Animated films are huge business. The second and third highest grossing films of 2013 were animated (Frozen and Despicable Me 2 respectively), and we’ve already seen what The Lego Movie is doing this year.  Earning $494.9 million, How to Train Your Dragon was the tenth highest grossing film in 2010, a year where half of the top ten movies were animated, with Toy Story 3 ranking number 1.  Four years later and How to Train Your Dragon 2 could well break the half billion dollar mark.

With enough time to digest what made the original film so successful, as well as to render the amazing graphics, the sequel (and the planned third movie) should capture audiences’ imaginations just as strongly as the first time around, if not more so.  If DreamWorks get it right, especially given the relatively light animated competition this year, this chapter of the tale of Hiccup and Toothless could even approach the three-quarter billion level.

Prognosis: You’d better train your dragon to fly you to the bank.  $500 – $750 million.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This one is slightly harder to pick. The 2002 Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire was a huge hit, reviving the superhero genre after years of lacklustre productions (I’m looking at you, Batman and Robin).  However it was downhill from there, the nadir being the bizarre evil/goth evil Peter jazz sequence in Spider-Man 3 (I still don’t know what they were thinking).  And so the franchise got rebooted a mere seven years later.

The reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, raked in $752.2 million worldwide. Why then isn’t the sequel in the sure fire mega-hit category?  Believe it or not, the box office receipts for The Amazing Spider-Man was actually lower than all three of the original films, and wasn’t quite as successful as the studio might have hoped for. The cast was solid and it looked great, but the reception from audiences and critics was somewhat lukewarm. Will the sequel trend upwards? Or will movie goers be more wary?

I’m giving The Amazing Spider-Man 2 the benefit of the doubt, at least financially. The trailers look good, so hopefully the movie will be an improvement on the first.  If not, the strength of the trailer and Spider-Man’s inherent popularity should result in a windfall irrespective.

Prognosis: Spidey is your friendly neighbourhood cash cow.  $700 – $800 million.

Log back in soon for the rest of this post.

A Tribute to the Best Thing about the Sochi Winter Olympic Games

17 Feb

The Winter Olympic Games are aptly named.  This is because the events are exactly that: games, not sports.  As such, I have virtually zero interest in them aside from watching the odd crash on the slopes or the funny reactions of losing figure skaters with poor sportsmanship gamesmanship.

However, even I need to stop and give credit where credit is due.  There is one team of athletes competing at these Games who deserve every ounce of our respect for their amazing accomplishments.  A team who stand for the absolute peak of human perfection.  Idols against which all of us are measured, and found wanting.  I’m talking, of course, about the Norwegian Curling Team.

For those of you unfamiliar with curling, the sport game is something like lawn bowls on ice, only if lawn bowls included domestic chores.  Norway is probably excellent at the sport game – I have no idea, and I have no idea how they’re doing at the Games; all I know is that they love rocking the most awesomely terrible outfits of all time.

Have a look at their get up for this promotional shoot pre-Olympics:


You may not be able to spot the team as they pretty much blend into the bleak grey background, but that is them in the matching suits boldly patterned with the colours of the Norwegian flag, bent askew in a thick zigzag.  In stark contrast, they are wearing very sensible white shirts and black shoes; not sure what happened there.  Also note that the teammate on the right, Havard Vad Petersson, looks particularly displeased at being interrupted whilst he was trying to remove snow and debris from the building’s entrance.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the above sartorial display is so amazing that it must have happened at a serendipitous moment where the stars aligned and everything came together in costuming magic, never to be recreated.

You would be wrong.

The above is just a taste of the team’s tremendous tailoring talent.  It’s been going on for years, as evidenced by their efforts at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.  Norway won silver in that competition.  Here they are after receiving their medals:


You may have noticed that wedged between their perfectly reasonable jackets and the same sensible black shoes as their promo shot, the team seem to be wearing pants not too dissimilar to what your grandfather might wear to bed.  My theory is that there was a terrible laundry accident in Vancouver that ruined their tracksuits, leaving them with no alternative other than to wear their pyjamas onto the podium.  They were able to cover the tops with their jackets, but alas, their pyjama pants remained exposed to the world.  Instead of being embarrassed by the event, the Norwegians embraced it, and realised that the world of curling needed a team of brash, pyjama pants wearing sportsman gamesman to spice things up.  And from there they flourished.

Have a look at what they wore the following year at the World Curling Championships (it exists!):


The Norwegians rocked the pyjama pants again, and with great aplomb.  Knowing that they needed to top their efforts at Vancouver, the team offset the PJs with a whole new ensemble.  Holding the adorably ghastly slacks in place are stark white belts, and completing the ensemble is what appears to be a matching set of mechanics’ shirts.  All in all, you’ll agree, an absolutely smashing uniform.

You will notice the competitor on the right, Christoffer Svae, has his eyes closed, his thoughts seemingly elsewhere.  Well it turns out he is dreaming up what the team should don in their next competition, the 2012 European Curling Championships.  Again, it is a master stroke.  Behold:


Some people just know what to do with pants, don’t they?  Proudly displaying their affection for their homeland, these pants exhibit a pattern of repeating Norwegian flags in the bold red, white and blue of the national standard.  They stand, as always, on a foundation of the plain black shoes they know and love best, and one competitor wears a matching glove.  Look closely at the gentlemen crouching in the background, Thomas Ulsrud.  Could that be the collar of a skivvy peeking out from his shirt?  I hope so.

Given all of the above, the question on everyone’s lips was this: just what exactly would the Norwegians have in store when they actually took to the ice at Sochi?  Would they be able to live up to the high standards they had set for themselves?

You’d better believe it.


Where to start?  As always, it has to be the pants.  The signature colours are there, this time aligned in a kaleidoscopic geometric pattern that dazzles and intoxicates.  What exactly are the shapes?  It’s unclear, although I would contend they are either ships from Space Invaders or a cartoon representation of Gene Simmons’ hair.

The signature black shoes are present, although wedged between them and the crazy pants are a new inclusion: mid-length socks.  Broken by a thick red line bordered by white stripes, the socks are a dark blue that clash with the blue of the pants, which is several shades lighter.  But not to worry, as the darker colour slashes down the left side of the team’s polo shirts, recalling images of half a pair of braces.

What elevates the ensemble above perhaps even their own gold standards are the additional accessories.  John Christoffer Svae, on the right, is wearing a rather fetching pair of gloves, no doubt enhancing his sweeping capabilities.  The real flourish that puts this outfit over the top, however, are the flat caps.

Comprising a series of mismatched purples, the flat caps not only clash with the outfit beautifully, but protect the team from the burning Russian winter sun that blazes down outside the ice-rink. What more could one possibly ask for?  Perhaps a side shot of the uniform, as displayed by Thomas Ulsrud in action:



All that is left to say is this: whether or not Norway come away with gold, they are clearly winners in all our hearts.

Now I’m off to buy some new pants.

Zombeavers: The New Sharknado?

11 Feb

As regular Hesaidwhatnow? readers will be well aware, Sharknado is one of the greatest movies of all time.  Any time you see former Beverly Hills 90210 supporting star Ian Ziering flying through the mouth of a flying shark with a chainsaw and coming out the other end, you know you are watching cinema greatness.  These are moments that shape our lives.

Well grab your chainsaw and get ready to suspend your belief in a huge way again, as we might be in for some more greatness.

The good folks at top tier studios Armory Films and BenderSpink have conspired to bring us a new film, Zombeavers.  What is a ‘zombeaver’ you might ask?  Well, it is the stuff of nightmares: zombie beavers.

You'd better believe that's a bad movie poster pun!

You’d better believe that’s a bad movie poster pun!

I know what you’re thinking: “A movie about zombie beavers?  Well it’s about time.”  Yes it is, and if the trailer is any indication, the wait has been worth it.

As you might expect with a budget horror film, the usual rules are adhered to.  A bunch of college students go away on a trip together in a cabin in a small town, spooky enough that something bad is bound to happen, and secluded enough that no one can rescue them – except maybe the random (and in this case, extremely creepy) local that they bump into.  Said college students are hot, meaning plenty of excuses for nudity and innuendo.

And with that standard template an extraordinary vision is realised.

"Wait - that's not my shoe."

“Wait – that’s not my shoe.”

Here are some highlights from the trailer:

–        Three hot girls in two and a half bikinis have no problem making chit chat with a creepy stranger who is carrying a massive gun.  No surprise that Creepy Guy makes the first of what no doubt will be many of the film’s very unsubtle beaver puns.  In fact, they manage to squeeze two of them into the 90 second trailer.

–        After killing a vicious beaver, the guy pulls a classic horror movie error and leaves it out on the porch instead of disposing of it properly.  Yep, that won’t come back to bite you.  Literally.  Although in fairness, it’s probably not anyone’s fault that they didn’t anticipate a beaver coming back to life as a bloodthirsty zombeaver.

–        Apparently a beaver dam on one road is enough to prevent a car of students from leaving town.

–        There are some cracking lines, but the best is easily, “We cannot turn against each other right now.  That is exactly what the beavers would want.”  Yes, yes it is.  I guarantee you no one graduates from acting college dreaming of delivering that line on film.

–        The trailer ends on an absolute high.  I will leave it to you all to watch instead of spoiling it, although I will say that I think we have 2014’s marquee Halloween costume idea already.

The trailer claims that zombeavers are the “next level of zombies”.  Based on what we’ve seen, it’s hard to argue with that.

Hesaidwhatnow? will definitely keep you posted of any zombeaver news.  In the meantime, if you come across any creepy dudes with guns, make sure you befriend him just in case.  And brace yourself for some double entendres.

Stupid Sports Quotes – American Football Edition

3 Feb

NFL Super Bowl XLVIII was played out yesterday between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.  The Super Bowl, of course, represents the absolute peak of football prowess (although maybe not yesterday, given the score line – yowsers).

Although few can match footballers for physical power, footballers can match few for intellectual power.  Which is great, as it means they provide some of the funniest quotes ever.  Enjoy the Stupidest Sports Quotes – American Football Edition.

“Defensively, I think it’s important for us to tackle.”Karl Mecklenburg, Denver Broncos linebacker, before Super Bowl XXIV.

An astute observation by a clearly cerebral player.  Sadly his successors on the Broncos forgot this bit of advice yesterday.

“I don’t care what the tape says.  I didn’t say it.”  – Former NFL coach Ray Malavasi.

“And even though you’re filming this, I didn’t say that either.”

“Most of my clichés aren’t original.”  – Chuck Knox, when he coached the St Louis Rams.

It is possible that Chuck is not entirely clear on the definition of ‘cliché’.

“He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.”Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his 1991 coach, John Jenkins.

You know you really have the coach’s respect when he lets you wear lipstick.

This guy has A LOT of respect.

This guy has A LOT of respect.

“I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.”Former  player/announcer Terry Bradshaw.

Half of that statement is true.

“I don’t think there’s anybody in this organisation not focused on the 49ers… I mean Chargers.”NFL Coach Bill Belichick.

I hope he doesn’t make similar slips of the tongue when talking about his wife.

“I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”New Orleans Saint running back George Rogers.

Rogers actually made 1,781 yards and won the Heisman Trophy that year (1980).  I guess 1,781 comes before both 1,000 and 1,500.

“I feel like I’m the best, but you’re not going to get me to say that.” Wide receiver Jerry Rice.


It's hard to be humble when you're standing in front of a jet and a sports car.

It’s hard to be humble when you’re standing in front of a jet and a sports car.

“You guys line up alphabetically by height.” Late coach Bill Peterson.

I would love to have seen the team’s attempt to comply with that order.

“You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.”

Yep, coach Bill Peterson again.

“We’re not attempting to circumcise rules.”Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers coach.

I’m sure most of the players would agree that if it came to a choice between them and the rules, they would choose the rules.

“He’s about the size of a lot of guys that size.”Offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, on quarterback Cade McNown.

Whoa!  Meta!

“It’s a humbling thing being humble.”Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett on seeing his stock drop before the 2005 NFL draft.

He may have received advice on humility from Jerry Rice.

“I used to have this slight speech implement and couldn’t remember things before I took the Sam Carnegie course.”

Bill Peterson, yet again.

“Don’t say I don’t get along with my teammates.  I just don’t get along with some of the guys on the team.”Wide receiver Terrell Owens.

I’m starting to get an inkling as to why he doesn’t get on with them.

(On whether, with his coaching staff, he could lead the Colts to the ‘promised land’.)  “It isn’t like I came down from Mount Sinai with the tabloids.”Former Indianapolis Colts coach Ron Meyer.

To be fair, I don’t think Moses did either.

Tablets!  Get it?

Tablets! Get it?

“I’m the football coach around here and don’t you remember it.”

Seriously Bill Peterson.  Just stop talking!

“Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.”Commentator and former player Joe Theismann.

I think we’ve pretty clearly established that nobody in football is under threat of being called a genius.

The Silly Season

19 Jan

They call that magical time around Christmas and New Year’s many things: ‘the festive season’, ‘the holidays’, ‘non-descript religious or secular celebration period’, ‘the festival of bombarding my letter box with junk mail’, ‘how to buy eleven gifts in one shop in 25 minutes-fest’, and many more.

One commonly used term is the ‘silly season’.  Presumably this is to reflect the fact that people do things such as get drunk at their office party, pash the weird person from cubicle 17, and then spew on their boss’ shoes.  However, upon reflecting upon the news of the world during the most recent silly season, I think it goes deeper than that.  In fact, it might be time to update the phrase. Perhaps, ‘I’m embarrassed to live on this planet season’.  You need evidence?  Observe.

Silly Curiosity

In country Victoria, Australia, a man by the name of Laurence found himself stuck in an awkward position.  How awkward?  Try stuck in a top-loader washing machine.  Naked.  To the point that he needed the assistance of rescue services to get him out.

Yes, just before jumping into the shower, a naked Laurence wondered whether he could fit into his washing machine, or as he put it, he “decided to have a bit of sneaky fun while in the nude”.  Possibly the first person to decide that loading himself into a washing machine is the preferred method of having sneaky fun in the nude, Laurence soon found out that he indeed could fit into the machine.  Unfortunately just a little too snuggly.

This is what happens when you put men in charge of the washing.

This is what happens when you put men in charge of the washing.

For reasons impossible to guess, Laurence had brought his mobile phone with him, so when he realised he was stuck, he called a female friend for help.  As could be expected, when he told her that he was stuck naked in a washing machine, she didn’t believe him.  He eventually managed to convince her, at which point he instructed to call his parents to bring an angle grinder to slice the washing machine in half, or otherwise the emergency services.  She chose the latter, probably wisely depending on how accurate his parents are with an angle grinder.

At first the rescue teams tried greasing Laurence with shower conditioner and olive oil, but to no avail.  After twenty minutes, most of which I assume was spent gawking in amazement and trying to get Laurence to explain what he was really doing, they managed to get him out by tipping the washing machine over and watching him slide out.

Needless to say no one will ever want to wash their clothes in that machine again.

Silly Mistake

Some felons in Germany obviously partied a bit too hard over the New Year’s period, as they made a mistake so silly it was criminal.

Workers at five separate stores in and around Berlin were unpacking crates of bananas to stock their shelves, only to make an unusual discovery.  The crates contained not only bananas, but also a collective 140 kilograms (309 pounds) of cocaine.  Talk about a fruit salad with a kick.

Don't put these bananas in your kids' lunchbox.

Don’t put these bananas in your kids’ lunchboxes.

The head of Berlin’s anti-drug squad looked into the unusual deliveries and discovered that the crates had come from Columbia via Hamburg.  Squad member Olaf Schremm said that the smugglers had probably made “a logistical error”.  Given that the drugs had a street value of 6 million Euros, that’s one heck of an error.  Upon hearing the news the head of that drug ring no doubt went bananas.

Silly Lawsuit

We’ve shown a lot of silly lawsuits lately here on Hesaidwhatnow? but it seems they just keep coming.  A man by the ridiculous name of Sirgiorgiro Clardy from Oregon, US, was given a whopping 100-year jail term for a range of crimes, among them stomping on a man’s face with a pair of Nike shoes for failing to pay for a prostitute Clardy was pimping.  To demonstrate that he was not only a quality citizen but a cautious and thoughtful litigant, Clardy then filed a lawsuit that’s probably the dumbest of the year so far.

He sued Nike $100 million for failing to label his shoes as “dangerous weapons”.

Yes, Clardy clearly feels as though his violent stomping assault of the victim was as much Nike’s fault as his own, as they did not warn consumers that their products could be used as a weapon.

These Nikes may look cute, but they are MORE DEADLY THAN GUNS!!!

These Nikes may look cute, but they are MORE DEADLY THAN GUNS!!!

As Clardy explains in his typically well written lawsuit, “Under product liability there is a certain standard of care that is required to be upheld by potentially dangerous product… [Due] to the fact that these defendants named in this Tort claim failed to warn of risk or to provide an adequate warning or instruction it has caused personal injury in the likes of mental suffering.”  I think the mental problems started long before Clardy got his hands on a pair of Nikes.

Hopefully we’ll never have to read on the side of a box of Nike shoes, “Warning: These shoes can be dangerous if used to stomp in the head of someone who refuses to pay for a trick.”  Pimping ain’t easy.

Silly Headline

Speaking of classy people from Oregon, US, 37-year-old Oregonian man Andrew Frey had a little too much fun a few days before Christmas, resulting in the following actual headline, which made me do a double take when I read it:

“Meth user fights off 15 police officers ‘while masturbating in a bar’.”

Fighting off 15 police officers is a fair effort.  Doing so whilst masturbating?  That’s amazing.  Disgusting, but amazing.

Picture this (actually don’t, because it’s gross): Mr Frey, high on meth, exposed himself to a bartender at Iggy’s Bar & Grill before he began to pleasure himself.  He moved his ‘activities’ to the bathroom before the police were called onto the scene.

Before 15 officers from three different forces finally subdued the offender, Deputy Peter Walker arrived on the scene alone and had a lot of trouble stopping Frey.  According to the official police statement, Deputy Walker used a Taser on Frey “multiple times but it had no effect”.  Are we sure this guy isn’t the Hulk’s more perverted brother?

He was eventually brought down and charged with public indecency, resisting arrest and theft of services, but at least Frey will always truthfully be able to say that he beat off the police one-handed.

On reflection I probably shouldn’t have used the phrase, “beat off”.  That was a bit silly.  ‘Tis the season though.

The Stupidest Lawsuits of All Time: Part Two

22 Dec


In part one of this post, we read about some lawsuits that were optimistic, vexatious, or just downright stupid.  Or all three.  Sadly, (or awesomely depending on your view) they weren’t even the worst of them, as you’ll see in this, The Stupidest Lawsuits of All Time: Part Two.

In part one I also left you with the following pop quiz:

Which of the following are reasons why actual lawsuits were filed by US prisoners:

  1. A prison failed to freeze a prisoner’s ice-cream.
  2. A prisoner received a bad haircut.
  3. A phone message taken for a prisoner contained errors.
  4. A prison refused to serve an inmate veal, lamb and oysters.

The answer?  All of the above!  Obviously!  Yes, evidence suggests that US criminals love themselves a stupid lawsuit.  I suppose they do have a lot of spare time on their hands.

Take, for example, Dale Frank Maisano.  The inmate of the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson sued the prison for giving him a “non-medical diet” that resulted in “cramps which caused the plaintiff to lose sleep”.  The amount of damages he was seeking?  One trillion dollars.  You might want to dial that back a notch Dale.

Or not…

Maisano also sued the prison for giving him late meals two days in a row, resulting in him developing an eating disorder.  The amount of damages he sought for that?  TEN trillion dollars!  Needless to say these lawsuits were dismissed.  As were the 380 other suits he’s filed since 1991!  Like I said, they have a lot of spare time on their hands.

"Ten trillion dollars!"

“Ten trillion dollars!”

But it’s not just US criminals who enjoy a stupid lawsuit.  The guys on the other side of the courtroom have proven themselves just as idiotic.  In 2007, a Washington D.C. judge named Roy Pearson sued the owners of a ‘mom and pop’ drycleaners*.  After he had picked up an $800 pair of pants ($800!!!) he had dropped off to be cleaned, Pearson examined the pants and decided that they were not his.  He sued the drycleaners, Mr and Mrs Chung, for stealing his $800 pants (seriously – $800!!!) and swapping them with a cheap replacement.  Even though they didn’t think they’d done anything wrong, the Chungs offered to settle the lawsuit by paying the judge $12,000.

Pearson refused.

Instead he wanted at least $1,500 per defendant for each day that they displayed a ‘Satisfaction guaranteed’ sign on their business (estimated at 12,000 days), emotional damages, the cost of a car to drive to an alternate drycleaners, and legal fees – even though Pearson represented himself!  The total cost of the lawsuit?  $67 million!

Thankfully not all judges are absurdly misguided as Pearson, and his lawsuit was promptly dismissed by the courts, as was his inevitable appeal.  Not only that, Pearson was required to pay the Chungs’ legal fees.  The best part about this story, however, is that Pearson also lost his job as a judge after a review board found he lacked “appropriate judgment and judicial temperament.”  The technical legal term for that comment by the review board is ‘rank understatement’.

I'd like to think Pearson's pants looked like this.

I’d like to think Pearson’s pants looked like this.

What could be worse than suing a hard working, older couple just trying to do a good job?  Suing a pair of children for giving you free cookies.  Yes, a 49-year-old American woman named Wanita Young sued her neighbours, teenagers Taylor Ostergaard and Lindsey Zellitti.  The friends spent an evening baking cookies for the residents of their street.  They wanted their good deed to be anonymous, however, and so left the heart shaped packages of biscuits on their neighbours’ porches, knocked on the doors, and ran away.  They also left behind notes saying, “Have a great night.  From the T and L Club.”  Naturally this enraged and frightened Young, who promptly called the police.  Even though the police saw nothing to suggest a crime had been committed and tried to calm Young down, she admitted herself into hospital the following day with a complaint of an anxiety attack.

Ostergaard and Zellitti apologised to Young when they found out, and their parents offered to pay her medical bills.  She turned down the offer and instead decided to sue.  There is a happy ending, as whilst the judge awarded Young the $900 she was seeking for medical damages, her claim of $3000 for lost wages and new motion-sensor lights was denied.  Also, when the ruling made national headlines, members of the public donated money to the teens to cover their costs.  The moral of the story?  Do not go trick-or-treating in that neighbourhood.

It’s not just crazy people who file ridiculous lawsuits – it’s also crazy cities as well.  In 2008, the mayor of a Turkish city planned suing Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros., the director and company behind the film The Dark Knight.  The city sought royalties from the film.  Why?  Because the Turkish city in question is named Batman.

As the mayor said, “There is only one Batman in the world.  The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.”  Not even the Joker would dare commit a crime so outrageous.

The mayor of Batman did not mention why the city hadn’t sued anyone before, even though the character was created in 1939, the TV show debuted in 1966, and five other Batman films were released before The Dark Knight.  It doesn’t take the Caped Crusader to figure out that The Dark Knight’s box office takings of over $1 billion might have had something to do with it.

Perhaps most bizarrely, the mayor planned on claiming damages for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate resulting from the psychological impact the film’s success had on the city’s residents.

Bruce Wayne always struggled internally with himself, but this is truly the biggest fight Batman has had with Batman.

"Let's see.  'I'm Istanbul!'  No.  'I'm Ankara!'  Nup.  'I'm Izmir!'  Nope.  'I'm Batman!'  Yes!  That works!"

“Let’s see. ‘I’m Istanbul!’ No. ‘I’m Ankara!’ Nup. ‘I’m Izmir!’ Nope. ‘I’m Batman!’ Yes! That works!”

Going to a strip club on your bucks night can be dangerous, depending on whether or not your fiancé finds out, but for Paul Shimkonis, his visit to the Diamond Dolls Club was particularly fraught with peril.  That was because Shimkonis was injured – by being struck in the face by a stripper’s breasts, resulting in alleged injuries to his face, head and neck.

The alleged ‘assailant’ was Tawny Peaks (possibly not her birth name), a stripper and star of several adult films including Boob Cruise ’94 (I’m not making that up).  Tawny sports a pair of breasts variously reported as between sizes 60HHH and 69HH – in other words, freaking huge – which she used to ‘entertain’ Shimkonis.  However, Shimkonis claimed that Tawny’s breasts were so hard, and hit him so forcefully, that they knocked him out and gave him whiplash.  Or as I like to call it, striplash.

As Shimkonis stated, “I was literally seeing stars.  The best way to describe it is like a concrete block hitting me in the forehead.”  Not sure what the doctor used for Tawny’s implants, but I would stick to silicone if I was him.  In any event, Shimkonis sued Peaks and the Diamond Dolls Club for $15,000 in damages.  Preferably in $1 bills.

Just when you think this story couldn’t get more ridiculous, the lawsuit was heard on the television show, The People’s Court.  After hearing evidence on Peaks’ breasts being like “concrete”, a female bailiff ‘appraised’ her breasts (Tawny’s, not the bailiff’s) and gave evidence that they were, “About two pounds each and of average firmness.”  The lawsuit was dismissed, and Tawny was free to slap her breasts into the faces of more appreciative men.

Finally is this, possibly my favourite lawsuit of all time.

According to he lawsuit of Allen Heckard, of Portland, USA, life was tough.  He couldn’t attend religious services, ride public transport, play sport in public parks, or eat at restaurants without being harassed.  The cause of the harassment, according to his lawsuit, was that Heckard looked too similar to basketball superstar Michael Jordan.  Yes, in 2006 he sued Jordan and the company that helped make him a celebrity, Nike, $416 million each on the grounds that his resemblance to Jordan caused emotional pain and suffering, defamation, and permanent injury.  Apparently not everyone wants to ‘Be Like Mike’.


In Heckard’s words, “I’m constantly being accused of looking like Michael, and it makes it very uncomfortable for me.  Even when I go to the gym I’m being accused of playing ball like him.”  Yes, I’m sure you frequently get told you play like the best and most exciting basketball player that ever lived.  And even if you did, it must be devastating to hear.  As for looking like Jordan, Heckard is six inches shorter and eight years older, which doesn’t help his claims.  And if his ‘resemblance’ to Jordan is so problematic for him, perhaps he could stop shaving his head and wearing Nike earrings and Jordan sneakers.

Heckard eventually dropped the suit.  He was last seen at the Diamond Dolls Club.

The Stupidest Lawsuits of All Time

4 Nov

A few months ago an American man named Chris Sevier sued Apple in what has got to be one of the most optimistic legal claims of all time.  The thirty six year old filed a lawsuit seeking damages and injunctive relief against the tech company for creating devices that resulted in his addiction to porn.

Don’t laugh – Sevier is a victim.

Sevier was a victim because, according to his lawsuit, “But for the Plaintiff’s use of the Apple product, the quality of the Plaintiff’s life would have been much better and injury would have been avoided.  The Plaintiff sustained these unwarranted damages in the course of using Apple’s product as designed.”  Further, by allowing Sevier to access porn the products, “systematically poisoned his life.”

Noticeably absent from the lawsuit is the term “self-control”.

Get that Devil's instrument away from me!

Get that Devil’s instrument away from me!

The plaintiff’s 50 page complaint is loaded full of gems.  Among the highlights:

–        Porn is responsible for American girls traveling overseas and being abducted for sex trafficking.  He didn’t refer to it explicitly in the lawsuit, but I’m pretty sure Sevier has watched Taken a few too many times.

–        The beginning of Sevier’s descent into addiction began when he “accidentally misspelled ‘’ which lead him to ‘f**’ and a host of web sites that caused him to see pornographic images that appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male”.  That’s one hell of a typo.  If indeed it was an accident, his subconscious is screaming at him.  I also love his horniness being referred to as his “biological sensibilities as a male”.

–        The Apple device resulted in “unfair competition” between porn actresses and Sevier’s wife, the result being that he “began desiring, younger more beautiful girls featured in porn videos than his wife, who was no longer 21”.  Ignoring the shocking grammar, that is one of the funniest statements anyone has ever made about their wife.

–        Sevier’s proposal for Apple devices to automatically block pornography would boost the economy of “the bricks and mortar pornography industry”, whose businesses are being threatened by their online counterparts.  Sevier isn’t just looking out for himself, but for all of the good people of America.

I don’t like Sevier’s chances of a favourable result, which is a shame, because any lawsuit that uses phrases like “intent to cause vicarious arousal” and “‘mom and pop’ porn shops” should be applauded.

I would advise in future that Sevier gets a lawyer to file lawsuits on his behalf, instead of doing it himself.  Wait a second – Sevier is a lawyer.  God bless America.

This bizarre legal claim reminded me of a few other lawsuits that defied logic, and so here are some of the Stupidest Lawsuits of All Time.

Graduating With Honours, But Without Honour

Trina Thompson graduated from Monroe College in New York, USA, in April 2009.  Three months later she hadn’t been able to find employment in her industry of information technology and so she undertook the only logical option available to her – she sued the college for failing to secure her a job.

Thompson sought damages of $70,000 for the cost of her tuition, plus $2,000 for the stress of spending three months unsuccessfully trying to find employment.  There are plenty of reasons why someone might not be able to find a job straight out of college.  The first reason that comes to mind is that little thing called the Global Financial Crisis.  In this instance, however, I think we shouldn’t overlook the fact that Thompson is clearly an idiot.

Evidently Monroe College don’t teach their students common sense.

Beer, I Thought We Were Friends

In 1991, Richard Overton sued beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch for $10,000.  It’s amazing to think that someone could have any problems with a company that goes out of its way to produce beer for our enjoyment, but Overton did.  Did he consume a beer that was tainted with an unwanted ingredient?  Did he cut himself on a broken bottle?  Did he get run over by a beer truck?

No, Overton sued the company because although its commercials showed that drinking Budweiser beer would lead drinkers to “scenic tropical settings [with] beautiful women and men engaged in endless and unrestricted merriment”, it turned out to be “untrue” when Overton began to drink the product.  That’s right, because Overton didn’t suddenly find himself on a tropical island with a bunch of hotties, he sued the company for false and misleading advertising that caused him emotional distress, financial loss and mental injury.  I think the mental injury must have occurred long before he began consuming the product.

Heads up dude, this won't happen either if you drink German beer.

Heads up Overton: if you drink German beer, this won’t happen either.

Needless to say his lawsuit was dismissed.  It is believed that Overton is now focussing on suing Red Bull on the basis he drank a can and didn’t grow wings.  Some members of the legal profession are probably hoping he still tries to fly off a building.

What is This Slop?

In 1989, a man named Kenneth Parker sued the US state of Nevada $5,500.00 for mental and emotional pain.  What could cause him such distress?  He ordered two jars of chunky peanut butter from a state run facility, but one of the jars he received was smooth peanut butter.   Not cool Nevada.  Not cool.

What makes Parker’s claim a little more unusual (it’s possible!) is that the state run facility he was suing was a prison.  A prison in which Parker was an inmate, serving 15 years for armed robbery.

Yes, Parker was suing his prison for giving him the wrong kind of peanut butter.  His lawsuit could not be more outrageous than that.  Except that it was.  Parker was also seeking a jail term for the worker who gave him the smooth peanut butter.  Presumably so that the worker would know what it’s like to get given incorrect condiments in prison.

"Aw, hell no muthaf*cka!"

“Aw, hell no muthaf*cka!”

Somehow it took two years before the lawsuit was finally dismissed.  Parker’s lack of success didn’t discourage other prisoners from filing claims though.

I Hate This Guy

Possibly the most creative lawsuit on this list was filed by inmate Robert Lee Brock, who was serving a lengthy sentence for grand larceny and breaking-and-entering in Virginia, US.  He sued the person that he thought was most responsible for him being incarcerated.


Yes, Brock sued himself $5 million for breaching his own “religious and civil rights” by “partaking of alcoholic beverages” that led to him committing his crimes.  Talk about hating yourself.  The genius of the lawsuit (if you can call it that), was that given the fact that he was incarcerated, Brock’s claim went on to assert that the state of Virginia should pay the damages on his behalf.  His logic was that the state was denying him from earning an income, and responsible for him during his jail term, and therefore should be responsible to pay the damages.

The lawsuit failed on basically every ground it was made on.  However Judge Rebecca Beach Smith did praise Brock for his “innovative approach to civil-rights litigation.”  Seriously Your Honour – don’t encourage him.

Pop Quiz

There are plenty more ridiculous lawsuits out there, some of which will be in part two of this post.  Until then, here’s a little pop quiz for you.

Which of the following are reasons why actual lawsuits were filed by US prisoners:

  1. A prison failed to freeze a prisoner’s ice-cream.
  2. A prisoner received a bad haircut.
  3. A phone message taken for a prisoner contained errors.
  4. A prison refused to include veal, lamb and oysters on its menu for inmates.

Share your guesses in the comments section below and check back into Hesaidwhatnow? later for the answers!