MovieChat Forums > Complete Guide to Guys (2005) Discussion > About 'Plants' and My Continued Dissing ...

About 'Plants' and My Continued Dissing of this Flick


Okay, so here's the thing. I write a review for this movie and a couple of comments blasting the movie. I was "lucky" enough to see it before it was released, and thought I would warn people against it. Suddenly a bunch of positive reviews pop up. I had what I believed to be good evidence pointing to these reviews being PLANTS (positive reviews by the makers of a movie to generate good buzz). My posted my assertion here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407680/board/nest/15578679
I did have to defend myself in that post, although it did end with the other poster acknowledging that the plant theory was certainly plausable. Now had this not occured I would have left this message forum, as there would be no need to re-bash this movie. However, because I felt that these posts were dishonest I wanted to bring attention to them. Once I did, I stopped posting.

Now what I believe was happening was that the writer/director Jeff Arch was creating a bunch of user names and posting solely on this board. Having too many user names, our buddy Jeff got mixed up one time and posted this message:

by - sb1544 (Fri Feb 18 2005 23:48:33 )
That sounds a lot more like the movie I saw, not the one these other guys seem so intent on warning people against. And how come anytime someone wriites a favorable comment they get accused of being planted there, but other people can trash it and their motives are not suspicious? The movie was not a masterpiece but it was fun, and goofy, and - well a lot like Dave seems to be. Just because I don't have a history of postings, I'm suspicious? How about I just recently learned about IMDB? It's a decent and fun and clean movie. It's different. Let go of the dime and enjoy it.


How did we know this was Jeff Arch? Well, he accidently posted on this username before as the writer/director. Pretty ironic that he tried to belittle the "plant" theories in a post that turned out to be a plant. Pretty stupid too I might add.

After being called out on it by another poster, Arch edited his post to erase any mention of every claiming to be a simple viewer of the film. The now-edited post can be found here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407680/board/nest/15935088

A little different, huh? Just lucky I saved the original post...

Now someone will probably tell me I have no life, but I don't really care what you say, chances are you are Jeff Arch anyway.

Now Jeff, I will leave this board if you post an apology for posting plants and admit the sleaziness in the act. It is a pretty dishonest way to promote a film, wouldn't you agree?

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[deleted]

I don't know anybody here. I just liked the movie...

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If there's such a thing as "plants," and they are so well known, then I am not the first person to ever do it. And if so, then maybe everyone who does it is "sleazy," although I doubt it - they are probably people who worked really hard on something, are proud of their work and don't want to see it trashed beyond reason. I did it this time, it was probably a stupid thing to do, so sue me. Still I wonder which is worse - defending a piece of work that took me and a lot of other people the better part of a year to create? Or coming on to a chat board time after time to keep spreading hateful things and playing self-appointed defender of the faith - as if you and your friends are the sole judges of what is good and what isn't. Or assuming out of hand that anyone who could possibly say something positive that doesn't agree with your assessment is a plant, instead of someone who might have actually just liked the movie - or at least enough parts of it not to think it was the most horrible and wretched thing they ever saw. I do not know and did not meet the person who wrote that wonderful review for filmfestivals.com - just as I do not know and did not meet the reviewer from Variety who didn't like it, or the ones from other outlets who have written things somewhere in between. I do know that in the two weeks after the screening on Feb 2, our website got thousands of new hits, our merchandise store received dozens of new orders, the number of pre-orders for the DVD shot up dramatically, the number of complimentary emails we have received individually and to the company have been seriously hard to keep up with, and that three distributors who have already received screeners have seen the movie and have made appointments to talk to us about getting us into homes and theaters - that way people can decide for themselves, and tell their own friends whether they liked it or not.

I also have to wonder about someone who monitors this site even more frequently than I do, someone who can't miss an opportunity to say something damaging, and who actually saves copies of old postings to prove his point - whether this isn't somehow someone who had been hurt or angered somehow, either by me or by someone else connected with the film. You are clearly not acting in good faith, although you would have all of us believe you are. And by the way, for anyone reading this, you should know that over a week ago I contacted Frosteey privately via this board, shared some thoughts with him that were kinder than any he has shared with you, and gave him my email address in case he wanted to respond and have some kind of a dialog. And don't be surprised when I tell you I haven't heard a peep from him, except the times he comes on here to play traffic cop and act out his overinflated sense of self-importance.

I will give my email here again - [email protected] - for anyone who wants to say something to me personally - ask a question, air a gripe, anything but asking me to read your screenplay which I honestly don't have the time and the situation to do. Anyone who knows me in this community or beyond, also knows that I have been extremely accessible and have spoken to countless groups and organizations here in town, as well as at writing conferences and film festivals all over the USA and the world - and that I have been invited back to the same conferences year after year. I don't know if that fits the profile of someone Frosteey is describing, but if I'm as bad as he says, I wonder why people keep inviting me to be a speaker or a panelist, why I have hundreds of letters and emails from attendees who say I've inspired them, why authors of three different screenwriting books have asked me to write their forewords, why I am quoted in other books like the "Chicken Soup" series, for one example, why I have been able to provide employment for hundreds of people over the years, including dozens of actors who got their first breaks because I gave them a chance and often fought for them, or why people of the caliber of Dave Barry and John Cleese and Dan Marino and Carlos Ponce would have made a movie with me in the first place. Or, in the case of other works of mine, where people like Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Michael J. Fox, Madeleine Stowe, Bruce Greenwood, John Stamos, Annabeth Gish, Kevin Spacey, the rock band Chicago and God knows how many other actors, directors and prime technicians who have seen enough character and sensitivity in my work and my personality to sign onto projects I have written and created.

So I'll stand by the credentials and the friends I have, and the honest feedback from well-meaning people, whether positive or negative. And now that I've done what you said to, Frosteey, it's time for you to keep your word too, and leave the board like you said you would. To do any different, would be - well - how's a word like "sleazy..."

Jeff Arch

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You're a dumbass, and you got caught being a dumbass, admit it and move on. This display is really rather pathetic.

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i have not seen the film yet but just wanted to thank frosteey for pointing this out. Jeff Arch you got caught out and your whole dialogue holds no water. You tried to deceive the viewing public and thats that. I used to be able to trust IMDB boards when picking films but now i need to scrutinise posts for being plants more and more. It is sad that people linked to films need to dupe viewers with fake reviews rather than relying on the quality of their work.

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Mr. Frostee, or whatever his name is, saw (or supposidly saw) a first-cut screening of the movie at a film festival. Perhaps he should see "the movie", which was not released until December 1, 2005 before he dedicates any more of his life to trashing it.

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Wow, I haven't trashed your movie for a year, Jeff, and you still seem so upset. And honestly, I wouldn't have 'dedicated any more of my life to trashing it' until you posted this. So I'll remind you: your movie sucked, please don't mislead anyone into purchasing your 'film' and PLEASE stop making movies. Also, please stop posting on message boards and please stop reading books, because seriously nobody wants you to find anymore material 'ripe for translation.'

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Well, I saw this movie at the SBIFF and I can assure you it was not advertised as a 'first-cut' screening...it was advertised as 'THE WORLD PREMIERE' and was one of the featured (more expensive) films. I thought that was kind of cool and thought I'd shell out the extroardinary high cost of $17.50. Now you're claiming this was a 'first-cut' screening. If that's the case, then you shouldn't have charged your test audience. I don't like to think that after paying $17.50, not to mention parking, waiting in huge lines to come away not having seen 'the movie'.

I have no idea how 'the movie' differs from the 'first-cut' screening I saw, but I can assure you I'm not going to invest any more money in this film to find out.

Andrew
www.andrewnixon.com/movies - Short Reviews, Top Tens by year/decade, etc

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Once again Andrew, this film was neither advertised by, charged for and no revenues ever received by the filmmakers for that screeing. The $17.50 seems to be such a huge issue to you, I invite you to contact me privately and I will contribute towards the fund to make certain that you are no longer in bankruptcy. I am quite certain that others would contribute as well just to not have to hear you continue to whine about the $17.50 any longer. Deduct it from your income tax. It was a purchase, or a contribution, to a not for profit; Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

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The issue isn't the $17.50, it's the continued dishonesty from you and previous dishonesty from Jeff here on these message boards that is the issue.

You guys personally called the SBIFF version here on the boards the world premiere, then recently you posted that it wasn't. I was just pointing out the discrepancy. The version I saw at the SBIFF was advertised as the world premiere...simple as that. I truly believe the version I saw was the premiere, but for some reason you feel to claim it wasn't because one or two posters on this board wrote negative reviews of the film after seeing it at the SBIFF.

A bigger issue of dishonesty by Jeff and you is the fact that Jeff planted a postive review...and denied being a plant in that very post. Once it was pointed out that the person who wrote that was the writer/director of the movie, the post was edited so it wouldn't look like the plant it originally was. Then you claimed accusations of plants being preposterous.

My complaint isn't with the film, it was a mediocre film and I actually rated it slightly higher (5/10) than the average rating here on IMDB (4.3). My complaint is with your and Jeff's dishonesty here on the board. I find it unnecessary, but I feel the readers of the message boards are deserving of the truth, so when you guys post your dishonest posts, I feel compelled to respond and let my fellow IMDB users know about it.

Believe me, I'm not losing any sleep over it.

Andrew
www.andrewnixon.com/movies - Short Reviews, Top Tens by year/decade, etc

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Here is another post here on IMDB where Jeff advertised the SBIFF showing as the world premiere:

antfarm (Sun Jan 23 2005 17:46:03 ) Ignore this User | Report Abuse
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The World Premiere is in Santa Barbara Feb 2. There is no distribution yet, and the producers have received film festival inquiries from all over the USA and the world. Right now everyone's efforts are focused on the premiere, and all other decisions and strategies will be discussed starting Feb 3.

Andrew
www.andrewnixon.com/movies - Short Reviews, Top Tens by year/decade, etc

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Hi, this is Jeff. This might not be brief but I’ll keep is as simple as I can. 1. For the Santa Barbara screening in Feb 2005, there were technical reasons to either call it or not call it a World Premiere. But yes, I called it and other people called it a World Premiere. Not to mislead anyone, but that’s what we considered it to be. It was the first time the completed movie was shown for an audience, and we were very excited about it. 2. We soundchecked the movie less than an hour before it ran, and the volume, the left/right balance and the synchronization all checked out. 3. I still don’t know how or why this happened, but either the projectionist or someone else involved with the theater, changed the settings and re-routed the sound through a different board, causing the movie to go out of sync and bringing the volume and left/right to punishing proportions. 4. In that kind of situation, we were too shocked to know what to do. Looking back we should have stopped the movie and begged everyone’s patience so that we could fix things, and wouldn’t life be nice if we could all look back and do things like that sometimes. Instead we just sat there and hoped that maybe the thing would right itself, which didn't happen. That is a mistake I am still paying for, and in some respects I figure it's probably never going to go away. 5. The idea that we could make an entire movie and not know enough to have the sound and the picture match each other, is a little silly, although we have been accused of that too. 6. Like a lot of other movies at a lot of film festivals including Santa Barbara, we learned from seeing it with an audience that the movie wasn’t ready in the form it was in, and needed improvements. That was a bitter pill that cost us time, money, and a lot of professional and personal grief. 7. Between that night in February and July 2005, we restored something like 20 minutes of footage that we had taken out, we hired a composer to create original music when formerly we couldn’t afford it, we brought in a new post production team and a new effects house, and when it was all said and done we had a much improved movie, that we premiered again, at Lake Tahoe, to a much improved response. So there were, in fact, two world premieres, because there were two different versions of the movie. In neither case were we lying or misrepresenting anything. We made a movie, got our asses kicked in a big way, changed the movie and now it’s better and is being distributed for all to see or not see.

9. I personally engaged in the regretful practice of posting a positive review, and not saying it was me. To my knowledge this was not the first time something like this has ever happened, and in fact I'm pretty sure it happens all the time - but that doesn’t make it any more right. 10. I apologized for doing that, and didn’t do it again. Once more, with the ability to go back in time, things would have been different. 11. The amount of righteousness and rage that this brought on, and the “continued dissing” of the film and my mistaken attempt to support it, seems a little disingenuous at best and outright mean at worst. 12. I have gone on this site in the past to try and rectify this, to no avail. A few of you have appointed yourselves to be defenders of all that is pure and good, and apparently you have never done anything in your lives that you’ve regretted in support of something you cared about. Fine. Spend your time as you like. 13. If it’s your $17.50 you’re concerned about, I suggest you calculate whatever you make per hour at whatever it is you do, and you’ll probably come out with more than $17.50 that you’re behind, due to all the time you’ve spent attacking and re-attacking not only me, but a version of a movie you saw a year and a half ago, that no longer exists because now it has been re-cut and finally released. 14. There has been a lot of honest criticism of the movie, and that all comes with the territory. What I have seen on this site goes way beyond that, and I guess that comes with the territory too. You never know who's out there, until they show up. And I’m sure that this posting will be picked apart, measured against former postings, and spit back out, and so go ahead and do that too. You might even number your responses like I am doing here, and what can I say but wouldn't that be awesome. 15. You can also just let it go and go on with your life, but something tells me that isn’t going to happen. 16. There have also been a lot of good things said about the movie, and – get ready to be shocked here – this just might be because other people had different opinions and liked what they saw, and don't necessarily agree with you or see things the way you do or the way you want them to. I know that’s hard for at least two of you to accept, but there it is. People we don’t know, never met and could never possibly have been in contact with, have actually bought or rented the movie and had a positive response. Can you believe it? Whether it was Netflix or Amazon or other online or retail places, total strangers saw the movie, came to their own conclusions and posted a response. And then – once again, brace yourselves – they went on with their lives.

So let’s sum up. There were two different versions of the movie – different enough to have two separate festival screenings and have them both legitimately be called world premieres. I did a stupid thing that apparently no amount of explanation or apology can cover. The movie is out now, in stores and online, and getting both positive and negative reviews. I wish we had more money to make the movie the way I wrote it - but I guess that's a wish that's shared even by directors who have more than a hundred million dollars to shoot with. In our case we still have something that I and the other people who made it are very proud of, and proud to stand behind. I have put my email address on here in the past and offered anyone the invitation to write to me personally, but no one has. I guess the brave defending of righteous truth does not include either the time or the courage to deal one on directly with the person you are having so much fun attacking. Anyway here it is again: [email protected]. I think it’s probably pretty likely that Frosteey and Sinjin are local Santa Barbara residents, so why not identify yourselves, take off the mask and cape and let’s sit down and have some coffee or something. Or if you prefer, just keep on hammering away – as of now it’s still a free country, so get your licks in while you can. As for me, I have a lot of work to do and I might not be back on here for a while, or at all - but I do answer my email, so feel free to write.

For everyone who has seen the movie, thank you for your time and for your comments. Unless you've done this yourselves, you can't imagine what it takes to put a product out there and what it means to finally see people responding to it. To Sinjin, I do want to thank you for your initial review because it seemed honest and well thought out, even though I wish you thought better of it. As for Frosteey, I've tried to get in touch with you privately and publicly, and the offer's still there. Enough said about the ways you've chosen to respond.

Take care, all - and if you get a chance, try and see the Al Gore movie that's out now. Some things actually matter, and "An Inconvenient Truth" deals with a lot of them. Meantime, hasta la vista -- Jeff


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