more at: Family, investigator question ‘pizza bomber’ movie | dailypost.orgPITTSBURGH (AP & staff) — When the comedy “30 Minutes or Less” opens in theaters Friday, one small group of people will be sure to avoid it.
That would be the surviving family members of Brian Wells, the 46-year-old pizza delivery driver who was killed when a metal bomb collar he was forced to wear while robbing a bank exploded in Pennsylvania eight years ago.
The movie’s handlers acknowledge the screenwriters were “vaguely” aware of Wells, but say the movie — in which two ne’er-do-wells force a pizza driver to rob a bank while wearing a time bomb vest — isn’t based on the infamous Pennsylvania collar-bomb case, and especially Wells’ grisly, tragic death.
Still, Wells’ sister, Jean Heid of Erie, said the movie isn’t funny — whether or not it was inspired by her brother’s sad fate.
“It’s hard for me to grasp how other human beings can take delight and pride in making such a movie and consider it a comedy,” Heid said in an e-mailed response to The Associated Press. Heid asked to respond by e-mail because she wanted to choose her words carefully. “I don’t think it’s funny to laugh at the innocent who are victimized by criminals, who care nothing for human life.”
“Neither the filmmakers nor the stars of ’30 Minutes or Less’ were aware of this crime prior to their involvement in the film,” Steve Elzer, the senior vice president who handles media relations for Sony Pictures’ Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “The writers were vaguely familiar with what had occurred and wrote an original screenplay that does not mirror the real-life tragedy.”
Screenwriters Michael Diliberti and Matt Sullivan didn’t respond to requests for comment through their agent. But, based on its madcap theatrical trailer, it appears the film doesn’t mirror the Wells case beyond the pizza-bomber plot device or go anywhere near paralleling Wells’ death.
It’s still too close for comfort for some people, however.
A comparison from wired.com (Compare and Contrast: 30 Minutes or Less vs. Collar-Bomb Caper | Underwire | Wired.com) +++Contains Spoilers+++
30 Minutes or Less vs Real-Life Collar-Bomb
30MoL: A pizza delivery guy goes to a far-out location, ends up with a bomb strapped to his person and is forced to rob a bank.
Real-life: A pizza delivery guy goes to a far-out location, ends up with a bomb strapped to his person and is forced to rob a bank.
30MoL: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Real-life: Erie, Pennsylvania
30MoL: Nick works at Vito’s Pizza.
Real-life: Wells worked at Mama Mia’s Pizza-Ria.
30MoL: Nick drives a Mustang 5.0.
Real-life: Wells drove a Geo Metro.
30MoL: Dwayne (Danny McBride) thinks his rich father is spending money on stupid stuff, so he tries to get some quick cash to have his old man killed to speed up his inheritance.
Real-life: Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong allegedly needed Wells to rob the bank to get the cash to pay to have her father killed. She believed her father “was blowing through his fortune — money she expected to inherit.”
Partner in crime
30MoL: Nick gets help from best friend Chet (played by Aziz Ansari).
Real-life: Wells robbed a bank solo.
30MoL: Nick is just about to finish his shift when he gets sent on one last delivery. (You can play a Paperboy-esque pizza-delivery game on the movie’s website.)
Real-life: Wells was at the end of his shift but agreed to one last order, which he left with around 2 p.m.
30MoL: After the bank robbery, Nick and Chet escape arrest with the bomb intact.
Real-life: Wells died shortly after his bank robbery while surrounded by authorities.
30MoL: Is funny. (Sorta.)
Real-life: Is not funny. (At all.)