You Should Be Spending More Time on the IMCDB
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, desperate to know what specific make, model, and year that out-of-focus SUV was in one brief shot from the 2011 film Limitless? How about the car that drives through the frame during the opening credits of 1998’s The Adventures of Ragtime (a Home Alone rip-off that stars a miniature horse)? Who isn’t dying to get the details on that one sedan parked behind the Blue Ranger when he fell down once in a 1993 episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers?
Well, rest easy. I happen to know that the Limitless Car is a 1994-1996 Infinity Q45, the Ragtime Car is a ’97 Q45, and the Power Rangers car is a 1993 Infiniti J30.
How do I know that, you ask?
May I present the Internet Movie Cars Database, or IMCDB.
The IMCDB is an unrealistically massive collection of stills taken from films and television, each of which is labeled with the make, model, and (usually) year of the car shown in the frame, as well as the film or show in which it featured. The site uses a “rating” system that categorizes the listed vehicle on a five-star scale that signifies how important or prominent it was in the movie/show.
There was an Infiniti QX60 in AMC’s Preacher: Give the 2019 model a look
A five-star distinction means that “The vehicle is part of the movie,” a four-star rating means “the vehicle is used a lot by a main character or for a long time,” and so on down the line. An image that has one star features a “background vehicle.” Needless to say, the examples I provided above were of the one-star variety.
There are two truly amazing things about the IMCDB. The first is just how many movies and shows are included for background cars. In an attempt to try to sift through the thousands upon thousands of images on the site, I just searched for “Infiniti.” I got 43 pages of results, each with at least 30 images.
I randomly selected page 32 and got results for cars from 2008’s Get Smart, an episode of Seinfeld, 2009’s Crank: High Voltage, something called Division III: Football’s Finest, My Name is Earl, and an episode of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
That’s just six random examples from page 32, and it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the hundreds of foreign-language films and shows that feature Infiniti vehicles alone. I would recommend Gek OP Wielen from The Netherlands. And who needs the Infiniti QX50 from Avengers: Infinity War when you have the one from Wo de zao geng nv you?
There is a short film called Oil Change: You should treat your car to one
The second is how vocal, active, and passionate the IMCDB’s commenters are. Just looking at the pony-starring Home Alone copycat The Adventures of Ragtime, possibly the most obscure reference of all time, you’ll find commenters with eloquent usernames names like “Gamer” and “CougarTim” comparing screenshots to try to figure out if the car in the background is a BMW E39 or a 1997 Infiniti Q45. The deciding factor was, and I quote, the car in the film had “no C-pillar kink.”
So, there you have it. If you ever have a burning desire to know what car was in that establishing shot from 2018’s Uncle Drew, you know where to go.
It was an Infiniti G25, by the way.
<– This is what Aaron actually looks like.
Aaron was born in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio and has managed to traverse most of the state between college and various shenanigans. Having majored in video game development and minored in film studies, he is a considerable fan of both forms of media. Additionally, he is available to explain why Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best feminist films of all time at the drop of a hat. His aspirations include — but are not limited to — not accidentally adopting any more cats and developing a responsible sleep schedule. See more articles by Aaron.