The Complete List Of Tired Movie Cliches
Posted on Monday May 25, 2009, 10:27 by Helen O'Hara in Empire States
So just last night I was watching a film that contained a whole heap of film cliches and screenwriting tropes, and I thought of an exercise to keep your brain ticking over after the Bank Holiday - because the UK economy can't afford you to remain in a hazily pleasant post-Monday-off state. I thought we could all get together and try to compile a complete list of movie cliches that we're sick to death of. Yes, all of them. Yes, from all the different genres. Then maybe someone in Hollywood will print the list out, put it on their wall and stop putting them in all their movies. Hey, it's worth a try.
Here are a few suggestions of the most egregious examples to get you going.
1. No one ever locks their car. This is especially true in action movies but kinda tired all over. In the modern world, you leave your car and you lock it. It's not even something you think about. If you are currently actively engaged in chasing a suspect, I'll concede that you might skip it, but if you're merely in the neighbourhood interviewing a witness, there's no excuse not to at least wave your infrared key fob in the direction of the lock.
2. The L-shaped sheet. So the couple are laying side-by-side in a post-coital glow; he's got the sheet somewhere below the belly-button but she's got it under her armpits. While there are good prurient reasons for both choices, have the courage of your convictions and go one way or other. Unless she's really short and he's really tall, in which case OK.
3. Splitting up to look around. You're in a scary house / spaceship / ol' silver mine. One of your number has gone missing. You're all wigged out. Why, in the name of Pete, would you split up to look for him/her? Has none of you ever seen a horror movie? Hell, even if you haven't have you no common sense? Might as well just blow your own brains out on the spot, unless you're the heroine. Getting split up by circumstance is one thing, but actively splitting up to search for someone is just naff.
4. The big soliloquy the night before the big push. This isn't just true of war movies, but it's most overused there. If you're going over the top in the morning, for god's sake keep your mouth shut. Taking out pictures of your sweetheart / reminiscing about your family back home or your childhood is a good way to get shot. See Dead Meet Thompson in Hot Shots for a great play on the practice, and Saving Private Ryan for its occasional subversion (Ed Burns has a speech but doesn't get hit, for example).
5. The father complex. Get over it. If you're over 21, there's just no excuse for it. This applies especially to Tom Cruise, whose entire '80s oeuvre was built on the father complex.
Right, those are just a few really obvious ones to get you going, and I've barely even touched on rom-coms. What other movie tropes and cliches need to be retired?
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Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:34
It'd be nice, for a change, if there was a lead character in a comedy who was actually funnier than their best friend.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:39
Yeah, Some Good Points There!!
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:46
Can we have a few actual realistic deaths as well, none of this 'just a few moments of life to pass on some important information/ tell someone you love them'
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:48
nobody says goodbye on the phone. The just hang up. Somebody hangs up on me without saying goodbye i would very annoyed
the ageless stranger
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:51
Put a black person in any group bigger than, say, three people, and they will immediatly become either comic relief, or slang babbling stereotype (example, the black soldier in Transformers "aw hell no, he' doing' something'!!") If it's a horror film, they'll die first.
If a sportsman gives up his sport for any reason (especially for the woman he loves), something will happen to force him back into it (probably the death of the woman he loves).
Cool cops do not wear uniforms.
Serial killers spend more time leaving clues for the detectives than actually killing, and thus, jeopardising all their plans. They never just pull the trigger when they have the chance.
The real love of your life has been right in front of you all along. It's the rugged guy you've been shouting at the the past hour while you made ill-fated plans to marry the well-heeled businessman.
That adorable little old lady will always have a surpisingly foul mouth.
Someone will always put their face/hand into the blatantly dangerous hole/device/trap.
I gotta think of more of these.....
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:55
The bomb will always be defused with 1 second left on the clock - not 2, 3, 4 or a minute and a half.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 15:57
Oh god Helen, there are so many!
In horror movies, i'm just tired of the same old shock tactics of HE'S BEHIND YOU and every time a character stands in front of a mirror as soon as they bend over or move to the side, guess who's reflection is in it? Good old Slasher 101, with cape and mask and a knife bigger than you actually need to kill someone. And when you're running down the street trying to escape a killer why do the victims always end up in an abandoned house or their own where they KNOW nobody is home!?!? Surely it's rational to pick a home with the light on, or if it's late at night, the one where there's a car parked out front etc.
The thriller - Ooooh they're the same person! This is overused almost as much as the oh-it-was-the-husband/wife (delete as applicable)-all-along. The movie twist is no longer a twist it's the "oh that was nice, where have we seen that before?".
And how come nobody ever runs out of ammo? Thousands more on-screen cops would be dead right now if it weren't for this cliche however so lets be thankful.
The rom-com. Can we not have the loser falling in love with the hottie but wowzer she finds his INNER beauty so happy days after all? Can we not have "your best friend is a pig, but I think i'm falling for his TOTAL LACK OF CHARM AND CHARISMA". Can we not have Meg Ryan? And seriously, not every relationship ends in flowers and renditions of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. In fact, a lot of them end messily.
There are many more, I will get back to this - but by god does it anger me! Nice idea Helen :)
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:03
Nobody ever needs to go to the bathroom unless it's plot relevant.
If two unrequited lovers meet up, they'll talk for around a half hour about how their lives now do not permit getting back together or at least, one last shag, then go and do it anyway.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:05
Tramps, please remember that there are only two acceptable responses on witnessing an extraordinary or supernatural event:
(1) observe event, observe bottle quizzically, observe event (you may, if so desired, then discard bottle - over the shoulder is the traditional route); or
(2) keep those jaundiced eyes fixed on the event and just let that bottle slip from your grasp (this does not work on grass as the bottle must always be allowed to break - if necessary, the sound guys will fix this in the edit).
Ensure that the jaw is kept slack and dumbstruck throughout. A pithy one-liner may be added (this may only be related to one's alcoholic condition - do not seek to flesh out your character's background).
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:11
"What's the number there?"
"Yeah, call me back on 555....."
PLEASE!!! It is not difficult to think of another number! The whole of California has the 555 area code in movies. Two words.....lazy film-making.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:13
the main bad guy explaining their big evil plan to the main hero when said hero has been captured jsut b4 he esscapes n no's exatly wat 2 do 2 stop the big evil plan.
only time iv seen that this hasnt happened is watchmen
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:18
Dogs never die no matter what happens.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:39
Why, whenever somebody uses a computer/laptop in a movie, do they never use a mouse/mousepad. They're always furiously tapping away on the keyboard, even when simply opening a program or documents...
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:41
and the screen is always reflected in their face. Are they made of glass?
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:46
Every single damn time someone approaches a mic on stage, it rings with feedback. Just watch something. Listen.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:52
The supporting character in action movies who's single character trait is - 'is very good at fighting.'
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:59
McQueen, The 555 code is actually specific to Hollywood films - when Bruce Almighty was first released people found that the number to dial God actually worked. so now everything starts 555 to avoid similar hiccups.
I hate it when the super-nice man that crosses the heroes path turns out to be an evil criminal mastermind. This happens so frequently you can immediately spot the twist.
I wish music biopics weren't by the numbers. In fact I wish biopics didn't lumber their protagonists with 'issues' (a la a beautiful mind) or subvert history for the sake of a soaring end (er, a beautiful mind). I suspect they'll do the same for the inevitable conventional Bob Dylan biopic - give him one leg - when his real disability was Joan Baez. Badaboom
I hate the action cliche of cars crashing and blowing up, usually vertically or spinning ridiculously in mid-air. I have yet to see this happen
Liam Neeson as a mentor. Jeremy Irons as a mentor.
for my final cliche, i must confess I have a love/hate relationship with it. The mass cheering/clapping scene at the end of everything from Apollo 13 to 8 mile. I loathe it, but I also kinda miss it if its not there.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 16:59
The 'pygmillion' ruse (I may have spelt that wrong). "Hang on, you've taken off your glasses and put on a pretty dress! - You're gorgeous! I love you!"
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:02
Oh, another one - all Asian characters in American action movies will be martial arts/acrobatics experts.
All old, rich white men are malevolent bastards that want to destroy the world (lulz satire amirite!? Ahem)
Latin-American characters are always street-wise, cool motherfuckers who are brought out of the closet by the lead character to talk to other Latinos.
Peaceful former warriors/killers will always reluctantly return to their former pursuit, even after decades away, and still be more badass than any other twat in the film, without a stitch of a training, a refresher course, or even going on a bloody treadmill for a bit.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:03
What about the mentor has been secretly training his younger friend/son/daughter/dog/whatever only to then retire/die immediately after passing the knowledge of this on to said person. Ooh, shock horror, like we hadn't seen it coming for the whole movie. Men In Black I'm looking at you, amongst others! On another note I have to say I thought the Mist was brave with the ending and the film is un-cliched itself.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:03
Sorry McQueen, but two words hyphenated is still two words.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:09
Another that seems to be doing the rounds, especially on tv, is the villain who is known as the villain for 2 or 3 movies/seasons but actually is the one who knows who is really bad and has been the good guy all along, so those that they have murdered or maimed was all for the greater good!
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:11
When the downtrodden hero gets back to his/her place and checks the fridge for some grub there is never anything in it- or if there is its some old milk which they will smell, then grimace then chuck away.
If we work together as a team we will win- always , even if we are clearly much worse than our opponents.
The really nasty sidekick bad guy always dies brutally
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:20
The old rom-com staple of the last minute chase through the airport. It might have worked pre-9/11, but if you run through an American airport screaming someone's name and trying to leap over security barriers you will be brought down. Possibly by taser. Now THAT makes for good TV.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:27
Speaking of the 'bomb stopping', what a brilliant way it happens in Galaxy Quest. They press the 'stop bomb' button with ample time left on the clock and yet it continues to run down...and then stops at one second. Genius.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:32
What about the boss/person in authority who always hates the hero (although they are clearly good at what they do, obviously) but gets won around by the end of the film (Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun etc etc)
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:35
Hardly anyone ever goes to the toilet! Jack Bauer can certainly control his bladder for 24 hrs straight (yes, I know it's TV but you see my point).
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:36
People who haven't been in dance school for years with all the associated training, etc. will still be better than their fellow well-trained and disciplined pupils at the end of year event of said school, that they have secured a scholarship into on the basis of doing some retarded dance routine with their 'street' friends in front of some clown teached from the school who is in the area but really should know better....
Morgan freeman will always narrate.
Serial killers will always come back on halowe'en, or the anniversary of their previous 'incident'.
People will always move back to their old town having been running from something terrible in their past, only for said terrible thing to coincidentally enough make a re-appearance.
If someone promises to 'never leave you', they're going to die....
Ex-military/army/navy seal people have 'still got it' despite their years out of the service
If you are a couple of days from retirement, you're going to die.
If the hero and villain are wrestling over a gun, and said gun goes off, the villain will always be shot.
If you are talking to a hero and if you look away for a few seconds, when you look back they will be gone, even if you were still talking. A little rude.
Brendan gleeson will play the muscle with a hint of an irish accent.
Other peoples clothing will always fit you if you knock them out and steal it.
In particular in episodes of 24, really important stuff will always happen within the hour, or if it is later in the episode, in 15 mins time. Thereby ensuring that said climactic event usually happens on the hour.
Megan fox will not cover her midriff. Ever.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:42
Why do people in films have the easiest fucking passwords for their computers ever, and its always like their dog, or child, or hobby, or something on their desk, never like just some random words put together. When the hero/es needs to 'hack', which i used in the simpliest of terms, as knowng a person's password or working it out is not hacking, but don't get me on to hacking in films, as though all they have to do is type some code and 'We're in, damm i'm good!' happens, all it seems the characters do is look aorund take two or three guesses then successfully log on to the computer. Just once i'd like a character to go 'let me see if i can work out their password. Lamp....no, file-o-fax......nope, paperweight.....dammit, this man's a genius, i'll never break his code!'
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 17:51
One that really annoys me is when a character will load a firearm when it's really too late. They'll usually pump a shotgun or pull back the slide on a handgun. So, for up until that point, when they were pointing their gun around they were...bluffing? C'mon...
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:01
The child hero of pretty much any modern children's film will have a split family - they'll only have one parent, or their parents are separated. Even in Disney films - Aladdin? Orphan. Little Mermaid? Only a father is really seen. Cinderella? All sorts of family issues. The Lion King starts with two parents, but we all know how that ends up...
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:04
Oh! Got a photo of criminal/missing person picked off a CCTV camera? Too grainy to find all the details. Let's zoom in. And, can we clear up the pixels a bit? Yes? Wonderful.
Not even bloody possible.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:22
When someone is dead that is almost always told to other characters like this:
The hero/doctor/sidekick enters the room. A friend of the deceased aks JUST his name (f.e.: "Frank?"), The hero/doctor/sidekick slowly shakes his head, saying nothing, looking sad.
I think i have seen this a thousand times now and can't take a movie/tv-series seriously which uses that boring old fart of chliché.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:33
Microphone feedback just before someone speaks into it. Never happens in real life.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:41
I get irked when a disabled character is played by an able-bodied actor and the filmmakers always include a scene when they get out of their chair – be it in a flashback, because of magic or just for comic affect. Professor X gets out of his chair 3 times in 3 X-Men movies – it’s like they couldn’t help themselves.
I know that you can’t always have a disabled person play a disabled character, but the fact that this almost NEVER happens speaks volumes
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:45
If anyone ever gives advice in a film and the character ignores the advice troubles ensues.
People never make propper arrangements
E.g. a guys asks: will you go to dinner with me tonight?
Girl: I'd love to
Guy: Great see you leter.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 18:52
If the Bond producers want to make him a more realistic character why doesn't he piss, fart, masturbate or brush his teeth?
Ok, crude examples, but hero's never do this mundane stuff and it irritates me.
Sorry, this is a subversion of your point, Helen, but I think it's relevant....and a little gross.
the ageless stranger
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 19:01
If two soldiers are talking, and one tells the other about his family back home, or worse, shows him a picture of his newborn child, he will get shot within moments.
Cars never run out of petrol in the middle of a chase.
Heroes never get puffy, bruised faces after a fist fight. Not even a black eye.
Computer screens always have swirly graphics in the background that have nothing to do with what's happening (i.e. a password being entered). Nothing like a Vista background to make it look boring.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 19:04
Nobody uses Windows. If a computer is being used for something simple like writing a document or sending an email, they use Apple, otherwise it's generally a custom made OS using a 3D interface (even for stuff like opening a file, you must venture through a 3D maze on your computer to locate it, none of this clicking on folders for me).
And don't get me started on hackers. Believe it or not, the only time I've ever seen real hacking being done in a movie was in The Matrix Reloaded. Usually, hacking it done mostly in command line... it's nothing but a bunch of text (I'm looking at you Swordfish).
Same goes for programming. Most of my friends write computer programs in notepad.
Computers are capable of anything. You know those crappy quality grainy liquor store security camera videos you see on TV sometimes. Those can be enhanced on a computer to such an extent that facial recognition software can successfully find out who that person is. I'll never forgive 24 for attempting that using the reflection of a guys face in a glass door.
All satellites are in geosynchronous orbit... thus, despite our earth spinning there will always be a satellite directly above you at all times... foil hat time.
"Robots" are always humanoid by design. There is no logical reason for this.
In a fight, if the odds are stacked against you, you're sure to win.
Evil henchmen will always wear giant helmets that cover the entire face so that the hero, disguised as a henchman will never be discovered... until the plot needs him to in which case his helmet will fall off at the wrong time.
"Captain. We need to fire our thrusters for 1.8 seconds in order to reach the maximum altitude necessary for-"
"Dammit man, give it to me in plain English! Not only am I, the captain of this space ship, too stupid to understand what you're saying, but so is the movie audience, we all need it dumbed down for us because we're idiots!" (this one courtesy of Rian Johnson)
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 19:23
Your friends might be hackers, but what do you base your computer zooming comment on??
If an image has been taken in a certain resolution, I'm pretty confident that there is no way to get a massive amount more data from it.
If you could do that, anyone worth their salt technically, would not need the best technology, and would just take all their photos on a crappy phone, then clear them up on the pc.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 19:36
Action movies are rife with them. My most hated: Hero being shot at by a gazzilion baddies, who all miss. He points his gun and disables them with each shot he fires. Headshots every one of them?
Also, henchmen who line up for a kicking. "One at a time please..."
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 19:43
The dispensation of parents is annoying, but I think it was Philip Pullman who said it was also necessary. Keep 'em in, and what do you do with them? Plus there's nothing like a good orphaning to relocate children to a place where magic ensues. So it may be an issue in literature that transfers itself to film. personally i think films are little less brilliant now that rick moranis no longer plays empathetic father figures.
And I'm sorry, but Jeff Daniels should totally be cast as the father in the 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' remake that should happen. With Terrence Malick directing (sans CGI dinosaurs). But I digress....
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 20:03
Loads of Star Trek ones piss me off; why do things which are automatic in our time need to be manually taken care of in the future?
Such as "Shields up!," if we have water sensitive windscreens that turn on the windscreen wipers, why can't the shields come on automatically?
No matter how many years of work are put into designing something such as a weapon, a security system or no matter how impossible solving a problem is said to be by the main engineer, as long as the Captain keeps asking, a solution will be found. Why did they say it was impossible in the first place if 60 seconds later, after Picard says "are you sure it's impossible?" you're going to say "actually no, I was being a complete twat before and it is in fact absolutely possible."
One more Star Trek one as I could go on all day:
Why have all these people ventured out into space if at the slightest nudge by any outside force, consoles and control systems will spontaneously explode? I mean I've crashed my car and the dashboard didn't explode in a shower of sparks! It all just sort of crumpled and I got out and thought "this is a bit of a pickle."
One more little one: why is most of the crew always human Americans, despite the Federation containing apparantly thousands of civilisations!?!?
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 20:17
Sound effects are pretty cliched in films. Like when someone points a gun or waves it around it always does that click-clack as if its been cocked, have all guns got screws loose? are the bits rattling around in the chamber to let you know you have a gun? Also computer sounds are never right, especially for stuff like email notices. And fridges seems to be bulletproof (and nuclear bomb proof) despite the fact that loads of em are made out of aluminium.
Also, in a film no one ever shits themselves when they're scared. Piss yes, but never shit.Why? Does fear not m=shake bowels as well as bladders?
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 21:10
Follow a person by themselves going somewhere not doing anything plot relevant like moving the story, investigating or assembling something crucial etc). As long as the guy is just walking somewhere be ready cos something shocking's about to happen!
Opening of Children of men,
First bus explosion in Speed,
in fact pretty much any 'surprise' explosion can be predicted in films based on just how studiously the character on screen is talking about/doing nothing of value.
This has really started to pull me out of movies lately I now instantly pick up on when a character has been doing something trivial for more then 10 seconds of screen time and brace myself for the inevitable. (the exception of course been Tarantino, that's just how he rolls)
(I swear there are more examples of this but I'm tired)
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 21:17
Also whether marine, doctor, serial killer, pastry chef or 11 year old girl, as long as you're on film you can bet your ass you can clock up to a 150 words a minute on a computer!
Oh yeah, no one ever looks in there wallet when giving money to cab drivers (they either give too much or just the right amount) no one ever accidentally shortchanges people while stuffing their hands blindly in their wallets/purses and then throwing the money at the guy
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 21:29
It is the LAW that:
No pregnant woman will ever reach the end of the movie without giving birth
Dance instructors are bitter cripples
When crossing a rope bridge one of the slats will break when a character steps on it
Villains are not allowed to shoot bullet-proof armoured superheroes (ie Batman, Robocop) in the one place they are not protected - the face
Soldiers are ordered to "Move out" as soon as they start eating/sleeping/changing their socks
Every platoon in WWII has to have a designated harmonica player
Becoming a zombie gives you the jaw/teeth strength to bite through a skull
man I could go on...
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 21:31
Except in View Askew pictures, where the trivialities are the plot.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 21:37
People from the same non-English speaking country speaking English to each other even if there are no Anglophones in the room. Bond films are awful for this - the Russians in Goldeneye, the Isthmusians (Isthmunites?) in Licence to Kill - Quantum of Solace is pretty much the one not guilty of this.
Seatbelts aren't necessary to be able to walk away from the most horrific car crashes (see The Fast and The Furious' final car-roll). Notable exception: Big Chris' single example of good parenting in Lock, Stock.
Oh, and drink-driving - in the US especially - is usually consequence-free (and at worst, hilarious, as in the 40-Year Old Virgin).
And have we covered the fact that a shot to the upper arm or shoulder (if you're a good guy, obvioulsy) is easier to reciver from than a stitch?
Finally - it's night time, and everything goes blue rather than y'know, actually dark.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 21:37
...but "I'm getting too old for this shit"
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:04
Another important one is that in American action movies, the bad guy will be English, or German, but most certainly foreign.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:21
Whenever some new adavanced/foreign/alien software needs to be cracked the hero or an assistant readily to hand always seems to happen to have the necessesary programme to hand... fully compatible no less i.e Independence Day, Transformers and Die Hard 4.0
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:23
people always arrange to go on a date but never say when or where
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:29
A lot of cliches are cliches because they work and in some cases are necessary.
Why do you never see characters go to the toilet unless it's a plot point?
Because it'd be boring and waste time.
Why does something explosive always happen to people not doing much?
Because otherwise you'd just be watching nothing happening to someone, and that'd be boring.
Why does stuff go blue and not dark at night?
Because otherwise you wouldn't be able to see what's happening.
Why do good guys with body armour never get shot in the face?
Because then they'd die and the film would be over.
Of course, there are also lots that are tired and smack of lazy writing. I guess they just make you appreciate those films that avoid them.
One final point, the website www.tvtropes.org is a huge collection of cliches and tools used in writing. It's fascinating, but addictive. Fairly warned...
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:36
There are no service on cellphones, when you need it the most.
Animals can always sense the bad guys.
Thunder and lightning always comes simultaniously
Nobody in the movies remove the sound when they press the numpads on their cellphone. Whenever they call someone and presses the number, it is beep-beep-beep-beep-
Whenever a lightbulb goes out, it makes the same electrical sound.
Special bulbs in Hollywood?
There are sounds in space
When someone is in a nightclub, they can speak to another person in a normal tone of voice, despite the loud music.
Computers just beep whenever someone is pressing a key on the keyboard.
Maincomputers in all spaceship are voiced by the same woman.
When someone pulls out a knife, you always hear the sound of metal scraping towards metal, even though the only metal around is the knife itself.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:47
If a movie is set in Paris the Eiffell Tower will be visible through all windows.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 22:55
In sports movies:
Team starts out as not that good because not working as a team
Enter new coach
The team will sort out individual differences/rivalries within the team to reach their full potential
Winning streak... but
There will be an awsome team rival that normally always wins. "They've won the cup the last 10 years in a row!"
In the final show off the team will be losing at half time... cue stirring speach from coach.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 23:24
Everytime a main character loses his girl/wife/whatever the very next woman he meets will eventually become his next girlfriend. Just so happens that this 'very next woman' is also single, just been dumped/divorced herself and is of the same age as the leading guy.
Just once i'd like to see clint eastwood get divorced and then bump into megan fox the very next day.
Reluctant weedy protagonists who find out they are 'the one' and by the end of the film become the ultimate action hero.
During car chases there are never any traffic jams.
When a group of bad guys take on one hero they 'take it in turns' to attack him rather than all jump on him at once.
The bit in horror movies where they make you think he's stood behind you, so you turn around quickly and he's not, you then let out a huge sigh, thats when he jumps out from behind you (which was originally right in front of you). Every single slasher horror does this at least once.
Sean Bean always turns out to be the bad guy anytime he starts a film as the good guy.
Action hero's always win back their estranged son/daughters.
The bit where the good guy kills the bad guy (but he's not dead), so they do the close up over the shoulder shot to show the bad guys body still moving, only for the hero to notice at the last second and kill him finally.
Its always comes down to the last second/bullet/missile that saves the day.
Anytime someone is told to 'stay away/stay in the car' within seconds they will have defied the hero's advice, entered the spooky house/building and have got taken hostage by the badguy.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 23:50
If there's ever a massive explosion, resulting in a wall of fire, the hero (or even sometimes the villain-Quantum of Solace) will be forced to run down a narrow corridor/chokepoint in order to escape the flames and will ALWAYS escape with out so much as a minor burn, just some inexplicable dirtiness. Can also apply to water/rockslides/boulders/serial killers.
If you want a non-cliched movie watch No Country for Old Men. Love it.
Posted on Tuesday May 26, 2009, 23:52
cliffordkilleen - "Megan fox will not cover her midriff. Ever."
You're complaining? Really?
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 00:29
Henchmen that can't hit anyone with a gun.
I don't know how many movies i must have seen where the group of henchmen with machine guns shoot at the running away hero and hit nothing but the wall/railings/scaffolding/windows/passer's-by behind them!
This always happens in bond films and Indiana Jones. Why are the bad guys always hiring crappy henchmen?
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 00:34
Steven Segal will almost always play an ex-CIA.
Matthew McConaughey will always take his top off.
Adam Sandler will almost always play someone with anger issues.
The jazz styled music over shots of the city at night interspersed with the sex scene(This is a highly common one of the '80's era but still has managed to remain in some films since.).
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 00:37
No one ever accidently stutters(Unless it's part of their character/necessary to the plot), forgets a word, forgets what they were on about, aimlessly talks to themselves.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 00:39
Whenever someone's using the computer, and the audience can't see the screen, they will speak aloud what they are typing even when alone! WHO does that? Really!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 00:42
fights in general. Unless you're a professional boxer/street fighter/martial artist fights are never ever that well choreographed. Although they are awesome, for once i'd like to see a real fight
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 00:46
Sorry for anyone who's already posted any of these but I really can't be bothered to read through all 60 odd comments:
Morgan Freeman is ALWAYS the wise old man.
Tom Cruise NEVER dies. Seriously. In all the films I've seen with him [which is a lot!] he's only died in one: Collateral. So whenever I watch a movie with him in it and I like the character he plays, I won't have to worry about whether he will die or not cos he never does!
How every single rom-com plot is EXACTLY the same! ie.
Guy meets girl. They can't stand each other. Something happens that makes them get closer. They start to like each other. One of them [usually the guy] does something to upset the girl. She's about to leave [usually on a plane] to start a new life. He realises that she is his one true love and that he will lose her and never see her again. He rushes to the [fill in the blank [usually airport] and just manages to catch her before she's gone forever. He tells her he loves her and they live happily ever after.
There. In 514 words I have just summed up every single rom-com plot there is in the universe!
When a hero gets punched in the face he never starts bleeding the way a normal person would.
The villan ALWAYS tells the captured hero/ine his evil plan before he's about to kill them in the most elaborate long winded way [which never works] but the hero/ine always escapes afterwards. [see all the early Bond movies!]
There will always be someone 'reluctantly pulled out of retirement for ONE LAST JOB' in an action/gangster/thriller. And something will promptly go wrong on that 'one last job' and they will either die or get more involved in it than they want to.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 01:15
When a computer is being hacked and they do not simply switch it off from the plug.
The hero will always be saved by a bulletproof vest - even when surrounded by henchmen - despitethe fact that a headshot is easily capable.
In musicals when a group song/dance will spontaneously appear although there has been no choreography.
Where are henchmen hired from?
The victim of the killer in a slasher will always run upstairs once they've entered the house.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 01:42
Saw Wolverine and found a host of cliches
Villainous character laughing before they die (Agent Zero)
The hero being saved by a character who comes out of nowhere (Gambit smashing the wall at the end)
Character's conicidentally being in the same place - could someone tell why Victor Creed was outside the club at the same as Wolverine was inside, how would he know that Wraith was there?
The "ah, so that's why he's called so and so" moment - A character telling a story about a mythical figure that's useless in the context of the story but gives the hero a name (ah, so that's why he's called Wolverine)
Romance is almost always doomed if its not a romantic comedy
Helicopters will always leak fuel when they crash and inevitably a spark will set the gas on fire
Michael Bay will blow shit up, if not with asteroids then with military ordnance
Most superheroes wearing masks must take them off at some point or at least being partially covered with said mask during the course of the film, usually at the climax
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 01:51
I hold Die Hard, The Abyss and Independance Day (amongst other films) guilty for this one:
When an estranged husband and wife are thrown together in a situation- probably involving terrorists, aliens, the end of the world etc- and even though she is now a high-flying successful businesswoman/scientist/aide to the President, during the life-and-deathness of the situation, and his no doubt gruff but heroic attitude, she realises how wonderful her ex really is, how much she still loves him and practically melts at his rugged feet, completely forgetting why she left the good-for-nothing bum in the first place.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 02:13
"Leave her out of this! This is between me and you!"
(You and I, dumbasses.)
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 03:16
Generally agree about the Tom Cruise point - he RARELY dies (he does die in the aforementioned Collateral, as well as Valkyrie and Taps, and argueably he starts off dead in Interview with a Vampire).
Films starring Tom Cruise nearly exclusively feature his mug on the poster.
Leading players always enjoys Wolverine levels of healing ability, or forget that they're injured after several moments. Especially after falls and gunshot wounds.
Similarly, heroes are fairly impervious to pain in regard to fist fights which would flatten your average person, or at least cause the loosening of a few teeth.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 03:32
Heroes wear white vests. never black vests or even a t-shirt with a logo. nope, only a white vest will do.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 06:36
goodbyes... why dont telephone conversations in movies ever end in goodbye (except for the slushy romantic ones) ? Phone conversations usually finish very abruptly in movie-land without so much as a "speak to ya later" or "cheerio". How rude is that ? Have you ever just hung-up without saying goodbye - I doubt it !!!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 06:39
Re MCQueens comment:
555 is used deliberately in tv/movies as this prefix has been set aside by the US telecoms system specifically for media use. This way tv/movies/radio etc can avoid accidentally using someone's real number and that someone consequently receiving a barrage of hoax type calls.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 06:58
Count the bullets.
The herion has infinite bullets in their guns. That's tiring. After shooting 99 rounds without reloading against the enemy without hitting them, you just don't believe it anymore.
And what's up with that fatal moment before main charactes die? In real life people fall down and die. They don't get that 5 minuttes speach where they can explain how things are and will be. And all of a sudden the herion has forgot all about the danger surrounding him and nobody is shooting anymore. Villians..., just shoot the bastard! Why are you waiting for that speach to be over?
Another one is when people are running away from a villian. And he's walking!
Every time the next shot, the distance is the same between them. Herion running, villian walking. Why is he cheating and running real fast out of frame?
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 07:14
A sex scene always starts with a tracking shot of clothing scattered on the floor.
Narrators who are also characters in the film often tell us about events they didn't witness.
Cyborgs apparently need to read information from their operating system off a built-in screen
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 08:40
Bullets striking metal objects creating sparks (conveniently near our hero's head) so we know how close it was.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 09:15
The latest Star Trek seems to buck the trend about the hero winning a fight. Kirk spends 90% of the film getting the shit beat out of him without winning once. He's still got bruises at the end!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 09:24
Why? Why, why, why, WHY does the killer, NEVER run after his screaming victim?? I mean, c'mon, you almost have the b*tch, just jog a little and your gonna get her because you know she is gonna fall down sooner or later and take about half an hour to get back up, just run a little you lazy serialkiller/psycho/reanimated corpse of former family member...
20 minutes a day on the treadmill would definetly be enough... or even better, avoid the running alltoghether, get a f*cking gun, it's not that hard, especially if your in america! some times I just think that I would be a much better serialkiller/psycho/reanimated corpse(...) then the ones we have out there today... put some effort into it... jeez...
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 10:05
shutting the bathroom cabinet/reflective door to reveal someone behind them. sometimes effective, but overused
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 10:06
Two things spring to mind (1) The rusty gate sound - every time a door, window, gate etc opens, it is the same bloddy sound effect!! (2) The last second reprieve - good guy is on the ground defencless, bad guy is pointing a gun at them.....we hear the shot.....but it turns out that the good guy's buddy / girllfriend / sympathetic cop / window cleaner has turned up at the last second to save the day. ARGH!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 10:40
I've read through all the comments, albeit quickly, and I don't think anyone has mentioned this point yet. When someone takes out their mobile to phone someone, the call connects and the person answers within seconds, the only time this does not happen is if the person does not anser at all. I know when I use my mobile to call someone, it takes a few seconds for the call to even register, let alone ring, and very rarely does someone pick up immediately!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:10
Cars in movies that make that funny knocking noise after they have stopped .
What is that ?its bugged me for years why they do that?
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:11
If there is a shot of a desert or other wilderness then there will be the same sound of a bird cry. It's always the same sound.
Also, all cars in movies come equipped with a powerful light in the dashboard/foot-well so that driver and passenger are well illuminated at night.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:13
Dead bodies stink and yet characters in films walk into rooms full of them and never complain about the smell!
Americans have the right to carry guns and yet no one ever does! Your being chased by a guy with a chainsaw in southern Texas, Shoot the asshole! one out of the 5 of you has to be packing! Its only us brits that have to run the fuck away! And another thing, why on earth do people in horror movies bother trying to hide? just keep running till you find either a cop, a phone, or better yet something to kill the guy chasing you!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:14
One cliched sound effect i always like hearing is the Wilhelm scream. You may not know the name, but you know the sound. Its that long distinctive scream you heard in Star Wars, Broken Arrow, The Wild Bunch, Spaceballs etc, the list goes on!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:34
Thats not a cliche. The Wilhelm Scream, I'd say, is more of an in-joke. I love it. They mentioned it on QI in the last series. WOOO!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:36
Concise_Statement: "Leave her out of this! This is between me and you!"
(You and I, dumbasses.)
Ok, I know this makes me a sad, sad grammar nerd, but "between me and you" (or "between you and me" if you prefer) is actually correct. It's a common mistake to overuse "I" because you've been corrected for using "me" too much as a child, but "me" is often correct.
Before I go further, I want to make it clear that I know what a loser I am, but this sort of thing really bugs me, especially when someone is trying to correct another's grammar but doing so incorrectly. You only use "I" when it's the subject of the sentence; in this instance, "this" is the subject, not "I/me", so it's "me".
Sorry about that, I don't know what came over me.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:37
'Cyborgs apparently need to read information from their operating system off a built-in screen'- And why do cyborgs need to wear sunglasses? (a la Terminator)
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:40
Yes, cyborgs do wear sunglasses a lot, but in the case of the original Terminator Arnie doesn't wear them to begin with, only after he's been hurt and has to use them to hide the damage to his eye which would kind of give the game away. After that, I guess they just realised he wore them well...
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:45
I think someone already made this point further up, but it's an important one: there are genuine, lazy tropes that should be avoided wherever possible, but some of the things people are complaining about here are movie/TV traditions with good reason - why do I want to see Jack Bauer go to the toilet anyway? If you were really nitpicking, you could point out that each episode has about 20 minutes of ad breaks, you don't see the full hour, so Jack and friends could be using that time to relieve themselves.
It reminds me of a great bit in the second series of Peep Show, when Jeremy's hot-but-dumb girlfriend Nancy complains when a bus crash is reported on the news:
Nancy: "Why don't they ever talk about all the buses that made it safely?"
Mark: "Yes, I suppose the news should just be a dispassionate account of all the events of the day - except it would take forever."
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:50
The villain will bark orders telling the subordinate to get it (weapon etc) ready and the reply will almost always be "its not ready yet" to whidh the villain will say "just do it" - why can't it just be ready?
Perverse villains will make the hero watch those closest to them die, or at least make sure that they had the chance to save them but couldn't
A sequence involving a team with superpowers will have them use their special powers once in a certain way that will help them advance
Older characters will resent technology (Billy Bob Thornton's character in Eagle Eye)
In a chase machine gunners will strafe the area behind the hero or if not that then shoot the back window out
Cars will pile up on a freeway and spectactular crashes will ensue despite the cars not going very fast in the first place
The hero is invariably the best at what they do
Films with machines will involve a lot of philosophising about what it is to be human
A rapper will appear in tentpole summer films in a secondary part
Stephen Summers using a ridiculous amount of CGI in his films
Fights in a bar - (Star Trek and Wolverine) still haven't seen one in a bar in real life
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:54
when killing the big bad guy at the end of a horror/action film, always make sure by shooting him in the head as he will invariably have been shot in the torso missing all major organs/arterys and have just enough strength to make one last attempt at killing you when you walk over to examine said body/you are hugging the lover you have jsut saved...
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:54
THROWING AWAY THE EMPTY GUN -
A villain is almost always likely to throw away his gun, when he runs out of ammo. Why throw away a perfectly good gun? You might find some ammo later, and feel pretty damn stupid...
THE SIZZLING WOUND -
pour some hard liquor on a terrible wound, and you'll hear it sizzling like when you're frying bacon!
EUROPEANS ALL DRIVE VERY SMALL CARS -
American films (comedies, mostly) set in Europe will contain at least one scene with the lead(s) trying to drive a very small car (Smartcar, Fiat 500, Yugo or similar will do). Please, guys, we have Hummer's here, too.
ALL SCANDINAVIAN GIRLS ARE BLONDE AND DON'T SPEAK ONE WORD OF ENGLISH -
shocking,but true: actually most Scandinavian chicks under 40 will know how to speak English and not just say "JAAAA", and may even have brown or black hair (and small breasts)!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 11:59
Cars are exempt from the laws of physics in all movies. If they are not exploding in huge fireballs even though they only contain a few litres of fuel then they are perfectly driveable after jumping a bridge/ravine/other vehicle or rolling over 10 times after getting a puncture.
All bullets can be stopped by car doors, wooden crates and plasterboard
Leading ladies will jump into the arms of the hero whilst wearing a $3000 designer outfit even though he is covered in blood, shit, alien goo, with total disregard to the dry cleaning bill.
Evil villains need to be killed 3 or 4 times before he stops leaping to life and trying to kill the hero again.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 12:42
The villain holds a gun to the heros head (or whatever) theres no escape, when the villain pulls the trigger, the hero is dead, literally the bullet will shatter the skull and brain, the hero can't survive, it is impossible to get out of this situation.....oh wait use SLOW MOTION and the hero does a crazy move and gets the gun from the villain, thats right the hero's counter is actually faster than pulling the trigger and the speed of a bullet-FACT.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 12:47
Oh and the use of Deus ex Machina is always annoying.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 12:50
The cliche I hate most of all is the Token Female. She's normally always present in action films and is normally an ex or a girlf. by the end of the film. She does nothing but scream, run about, complain and, inevitably, get captured at some point. Every action film does not need a love interest. Cant we just have shit blowing up for the fun of it? The TF normally also has the acting ability of a cabbage.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 12:51
I do sort of get tired with the 'priest is a paedophile' cliche.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 12:54
Video messages. Why is it (in Sci-Fi films in particular) that despite numerous technological advances (including interstellar space travel, teleportation etc), no-one seems to be capable of producing either a video message or video recording system, that doesn't look like a dodgy VHS copy? Not only will it be poor resolution but will also flicker/occassionally lose sound etc as well. It is worth noting that this technological retardation will not apply to computer systems, as they will generally be capable of producing stunning high-definition images of virtually anything other than streamed video, because then the quality will be like an old episode of Dr Who
Do filmmakers really think we are so thick that unless they diminish the quality in such a way, we will not realise this is a pre-recorded message/video call? What do they think we will think, that the protaganist has just sat down to watch a DVD??? Starship Troopers is one of only a handful of movies which doesn't do this, but most Sci-Fi movies in particular are guilty of this. My gripe sort of links into the other oft-complained about cliche, of being able to zoom in and enhance any image no matter how shitty the quality. Wouldn't this be easier if they used a better quality camera in the first place. For fucks sake if they can afford to build a starship, you would think they could stretch to a decent camcorder!!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 13:03
Space ships (that always get into fire fights every 20 minutes) with no seat belts.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 13:06
Every time a gate, hatch or (metal) door is opened, it makes the same damn creeking sounds. Doesn't anyone update the sound effects archive!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 13:28
Similiar to the last point, every time someone in a car chase/fight on top of a lorry/etc. almost gets twatted by an oncoming truck, it ALWAYS makes the exact same sound. It's like 'drrumm' as it's approaching, and then it just misses and goes 'druuuuuuuuuum'. I know what I'm talking about, please someone back me up. .
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 13:29
why oh why in movies do 2 guys have a massive fist fight and there is never any blood or very little anyway,i stay in glasgow and have seen quite a few tear ups on a saturday night and there is blood everywhere after the first punch lands yet in movies they fight for ages smashing each others faces in without barely a scratch MORE BLOOD PLEASE
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 13:41
an addition to my earlier point , how many of you watch boxing , one good punch and they are out for at least 10 seconds, in movies 24 punches to the face by the 7 foot uberhenchman and they still get up for more
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 14:07
When a train slams through a car, bus, helicopters etc. you would expect to hear the train screech to a stop but I think you never do. Train drivers in movies are obviously very concerned with time keeping.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 14:19
if a supporting character is a computer technicien, it'll proabably be a male, thin and nerdy, but even its a woman, they will ALWAYS wear glasses. fact.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 14:25
All British people live in London, with family in the country (who live in castles), speak the Queen's English and all eat al fresco near to Tower Bridge.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 14:28
The character in the movie ALWAYS gets parking right outside the place they are visiting. They never have to go look for the machine to buy a ticket to then put on the dashboard and they never get clamped.....
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 14:29
Something that always cracks me up is when the hero winces with the air of someone 'bravely taking it like a man' when a woman stitches up a wound, but can receive countless punches and bullet wounds in the chest without so much as stumbling.
Also the mother of the family never seems to get bored of preparing a massive breakfast of pancakes/waffles that her husband and children never have time to eat!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 14:59
When the hero is sneaking around an enemy compound and comes across a solitary guard, he will perform a stealth kill by either garrotting them or shooting them with a silenced pistol. The target will ALWAYS die quietly, allowing the hero to proceed. Never does James Bond shoot a henchman from the shadows, only for the henchman to scream: "AAAAAH I'VE BEEN SHOT!"
(Conversely, I've seen a quite few films where a large group of villains are approaching our heroes' compound/camp and they blow their cover by shooting the look-out guard, who falls screaming and lands in front of their colleagues, causing panic. Despite this, the villains usually succeed in routing the heroes during the following bedlam, only to be defeated by the end of the film. Return of the King is an example of this, but there are many more)
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 15:04
Hollywood Movies regularly cast Irish guys to play Scottish guys or vice versa. Notably Liam Neeson in Rob Roy, Sean Connery in The Untouchables. But mostly in smaller roles. Surely casting agents can find a Scotsman where a Scotsman is needed!
Also Hollywood films have a tendency to portray Scottish folk as living in castles wearing kilts 24-7 and being mostly braindead (see the truly awful Made of Honor from last year). Not living in the suburbs being normal...never!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 15:11
There's always a falling out between the best buds/lovers/team about 3/4 the way through before the main character admits all his/her faults and they all live happily ever after/get married/win the game.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 15:12
in crappy love movies, guy girl hate each other but get lost together or whatever then fall in ove at the end.
Henchman SUCK at shooting alwys it the fireescape the hero is running up.
final battles in superhero movies the hero alwys begins to lose but then gets a surge of power.
big fighting scenes and there never got a broken nose or even a bleeding.
if the hero or villian have the choice of a bullit in the gun or no gun and just there fists they throw the gun away.
speaking about bullits its always the last one that hits the head.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 15:36
A lot of comments there so not sure if this has been said but
THE RUSH TO THE AIRPORT! in romcoms.
Tired now - go to the bus stop.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 16:19
how about when there being chased in their home and after careful thinking they run upstairs, WTF!!!!!!! run out of the bloody door not upstairs where there is knowhere to hide!!!!!!!!!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 16:22
The forgotten sidekick/love interest (who we're supposed to have forgotten about because they were left behind or knocked unconcious) rescues our hero with some form of last minute intervention.
If that last minute intervention is in the form of a gunshot then they must time said shot to coincide with the one that would have spelt the end for our hero.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 16:30
It takes 2 minutes to hack into a computer, no matter how sophisticated. The minute you do, you become omnipotent, and can cotrol everything, even if they are not linked up to a computer. You can also make them explode, as all computers have an 'explode' function that can be triggered with just a few lines of code.
All building sites must store barrels of miscellaneous combustible material, and must pay no attention to health and safety. Quantum of Solace featured a hotel (in the middle of nowhere for some reason) that was decorated with exploding barrels. If you are checking into a hotel in a Bond film, it is not permissable to ask to be moved to a room "With less exploding barrels outside it please."
Fire makes you dirty. If you escape a fire (and you will - unless you are a little brother in a flashback) then you will have soot on your face. At no time will you be horrifically burned, scarred, maimed, blistered or be puking your guts up from smoke inhalation. You may, however, develop a limp.
If your best friend gets shot, he will likely just give up an accept his fate. He will not scream for medical help, or ask for the spike to be removed from his abdomen. Instead they will say something poignant. Also, if you find yourself feeling guilty because you brought them on this mission, even though they said you were "crazy", completing said mission will absolve you of all guilt, even though your friend is still dead, and for a mission he didn't want to go on.
if you are chasing someone across New York to tell them you love them, you may not use your mobile phone. You must get a taxi instead, of which there will be at least 18.
if you live in New York, you must eat Chinese food all the time. You must also always leave half of it in the fridge to throw away after a bad date/failed heist.
If you hear an ancient prophesy, or a spooky legend, or a serial killer story, it will come true. Today.
if you are Nicholas Cage, you must bring a torch with you
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 17:50
One thing that ALWAYS show up in the movies (and TV) is just when everything is going good and level, something goes wrong. But after that, just before they all die/lose their minds something manages to get a final push which surprisingly even though it's screaming at them in the face it takes one small character nobody believes in to get them out of it!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 18:50
I think people have missed a poiont with henchmen/bad guys shooting skills
In a lot of movies i have seen they are quite good at shooting everyone else but the hero i.e good guy soldiers or minor characters on the heros side. They are only bad when aiming at hero character. This is also true of the main villian. He can kill everyone but the hero/main characters perfectly easily, even those who are very skilled.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 18:50
Would love to see a movie made that is the opposite of all these cliches! A rom-com action movie, where the hero, who is well adjusted and has no personal issues, still has the same girlfriend at the end. He is a cop, who's partner doesn't get shot. He walks around for the first five minutes of the movie, and no explosion interrupts him. He rings a mate, waits for him to pick up, then forgets what he was gonna say. In a gunfight, he takes a bullet, and cries and begs for his mother. After being patched up, and recouperating for about six months, you see him going to the toilet. He goes to give a speech. Gets shot in the face.
Just a thought.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 18:58
I think there's a difference between a cliche and something which is simply done often in films. I think the former really needs to be an acknowledged plot device - the returning to the 'dead' body in a horror film etc - that is embarrassing because so obvious and unimaginative. This is different from, say, people not locking their cars when they leave them, or explosions in space being audible - these are unrealistic or inaccurate, but they don't make one sigh at the writer's laziness or the implied insult to the audience's intelligence.
"Loads of Star Trek ones piss me off; why do things which are automatic in our time need to be manually taken care of in the future?
Such as "Shields up!," if we have water sensitive windscreens that turn on the windscreen wipers, why can't the shields come on automatically?"
This is a bit ridiculous: windscreen wipers have a physical trigger - ie water - whereas I can't see how a spaceship is meant to 'know' it is about to be attacked; this is something the captain would have to anticipate and take precautionary measures for, which may well turn out to be unnecessary, but in any case are based on intuition and assessment of the situation.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 19:03
Good list. Bathroom mirror cliche in thrillers winds me up. Victim brushes teeth or combs hair while looking in bathroom mirror. Opens cabinet to get something. Closes it. Killer reflected in glass. Also works with huge fridge doors. Yawn.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 19:19
" "Leave her out of this! This is between me and you!"
(You and I, dumbasses.) "
Err, actually 'you and I' would be wrong in that case.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 19:29
You will always be able to park right outside the buliding you need to get to no matter How busy it is!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 19:42
Headed for London? Look out for the obligatory BIG RED BUS shot.
The heroes/villains/werewolves never get on the bus, which is probably a good thing for them - inevitably, as the action escalates, the bus will end up either on its side or run out of control, smashing through crates of pigeons and spam.
Meanwhile, no Government should bother paying for their own staff of scientists and hackers. They will never figure out what's going on, despite having far more decorated PhDs, etc than the hero. Instead, the hero will come along and figure out the secret code/solution-to-stopping-the-alien-threat in three scenes flat. This almost always happens after they have miraculously sobered up, having hit the bottle in a crisis of faith (eg. The Core, Independence Day).
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 20:59
I haven't read everything above so there could be some repeats here:
-Mobile phones. Either no battery or no signal and sometimes, in extreme circumstances, BOTH.
- The old classic of wounding the serial killer and not making sure of the job. E.g Wolf Creek - you shoot him in the neck...make sure he's dead. If it was me, I'd still be stamping on his head.
- People in horror films never seem to ackowledge how EVERYTHING around them is scary. I'm talking about the sunny days in school when the scene is being set. There are still people jumping out from behind lockers/cats jumping out of cupboards etc. If something like that happens once in a day, you joke about it with your friends. Some of these characters have it happen about six times a day...abstract I know, but I can't help noticing it.
- The entire structure of rom-coms. They meet, get along, nearly get together and then something happens and they split up. Cue sad montage for a while, before an exciting romantic gesture (normally with a retro soundtrack) and the happy couple go off together.
-People in zombie films have never seen zombie films. Why? That never happens with vampire flicks!
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 21:50
And the military will never listen to the guy who has studied aliens/monsters/asteroids/self aware computer networks/zombified kittens and has come up with an unorthodox solution! Normally goes:-
General- "We listened to you for 6 seconds, and things haven't totally resolved themselves, the (insert movie title here) seems invunerable to our bullets and military technology"
Hero- "But I've discovered something in the last scene, and the (insert movie title here) would be vulnerable to (product sponsoring the movie, such as shampoo, virus written on an Apple Ibook G4, etc.)
General- "You've had your chance, this is a military matter now! Surely this time when we shoot at it, it will work! Get him out of here!!"
Hero- "Damm, now we have to fight both the (insert movie..) AND sneak past the military!"
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 22:01
Oh, and on a side note, when facing the huge special effect, the military will have a big line up of tanks and rocket launchers and the like, and a bunch of unprotected guys with rifles.
"Don't worry men, your tiny rifles will clearly do the damage our massive cannons and missiles cannot! Stand still and fire randomly at it!"
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 22:27
Ok, Prob already been done but recent classics:
Seriously injured people being able to run for a good healthy distance: If you have a pole through your heart you can outrun a Monster killing everyone in New York or if you are electrocuted you can out maneuver a Velociraptor! Despite being only ten years of age!
Never EVER saying goodbye on a telephone!
Cops arriving on the scene after hero kills the villain and not arresting the hero immediately on sight for murder. Instead, just sitting him in the back of an ambulance with a blue flannel as he mops his brow and taking his word for it.
Never having just a quick dirty or awkward fuck in romantic comedies. Instead, having some lovel emotional scene. Excuse me... if he's been woo-ing this bird for ages his balls will be like fucking water balloons and his arse would be a blur as he punds he against the shower railing! Sod emotional chest kissing and light petting.
Women are NEVER on the blob. NEVER EVER EVER! Even on desert islands.
Dads never act like actual dads would. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner". Yeah, how about fuck off you clearly peado instructor who is having it off with my underage daughter. Go get a real job. OH!! Just been forced to endure TWILIGHT _SPOILER_ how come the dad lets the girl carry on seeing a bloke who is clearly mentally unwell that drove her from WASHINGTON to ARIZONA in ONE night and then had an artery in her leg severed!?! "Oh that's ok, at least you're safe now!"- Bobbins.
"Inspirational teacher wins over awkward class". Yeah. Now how about getting them their GCSE's, Pushing higher end or SEN pupils, sequential lesson p and looking at the league tables of FFT data or what about what's in the curriculum! I'm sure mum and dad will be happy by the end of the film when their kid can do a dance/play some music that they never could before, but in six weeks when exam time comes around that kid will be either working in Wimpy or pulling of blokes in the street for scrag.
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 23:47
I haven't read all of the above
* expendable goons/mercenaries/punks always die STRAIGHT AWAY when shot. You would have thought that they would have some rudimentary understanding of tactics and teamwork - but no - stand menacingly and smile for the Uzi......More cannon fodder please!?!
(see "the injured stormtrooper" on youtube for more a pleasant micky-take)
*the bad guy/serial killer/monster only ever appears in close-up shots
If all the hapless teenagers just walked around with a wide-angled lenses on their camera they'd all be ok
*Nobody ever makes spelling mistakes when typing?????
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 01:36
Having bothered to read all the posts now...
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 15:04
Hollywood Movies regularly cast Irish guys to play Scottish guys or vice versa. Notably Liam Neeson in Rob Roy, Sean Connery in The Untouchables. But mostly in smaller roles. Surely casting agents can find a Scotsman where a Scotsman is needed!"
Too right! Also a certain Gerard Butler in P.S I Love You!
I laughed so much reading ilovecress' lengthy post. So true!
How a vehicle that tumbles down a cliff/mountain etc. will burst into flames and blow up. Yet in a car chase, the hero/ine's vehicle will still be in perfect working order despite crashing through various shopping malls, iron gates, lamp posts and reversing off the back of a ten storey car parks etc. [James Bond especially GoldenEye I'm looking at you!]
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 03:43
I hate to burst a bubble, but I take issue with one 'cliche'
I noticed someone said about how the bomb always stops on one second. There's a simple enough reason: dramatic tension!
Yeh, I know everyone does it, but thats cos it works! You'd never be on the edge of your seat if the plucky heroes managed to diffuse said bomb with half an hour left on the timer, and the plucky heroes wouldnt look like heroes at all. Theyd be average joes who are reaaaallly good at diffusing bombs for some unknown reason.
But I agree, some of the small details, like locking cars, makes sense!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 03:54
Sorry for double post, but I just read another one:
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2009, 15:12
"Henchman SUCK at shooting alwys it the fireescape the hero is running up."
Well, to be honest, a film where the hero gets shot and dies in the pre-credits action sequence is gonna be a preeeetty boring one. I'm just saying, I wouldnt watch it.
Itd be more depressing than all of Empire's Top Ten Most Depressing Films combined.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 08:55
One thing that I am sick to death of is that people always have to die in each others arms, often their best friend or their beloved. They have time to express their last thoughts or they'll die JUST when they're about to say something of extreme importance...
It can be seen several times in Star Wars (Qui-Gon, the female bounty hunter in ep. II, Darth Vader! etc.), Lotr (Boromir), Moulin Rouge! and many, many more!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 09:18
Here's a movie cliche for 21st century: when you see bunch of american soldiers driving in a humvee being all relaxed, listening loud rock music from boom box and talking shit, you know than within a seconds they will be under attack by arabs or afgans and most of the will be killed, exept the leading man. See: Iron Man or episode of House M.D.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 10:23
I watched I am legend yesterday afternoon and it occurred to me that zombies of all types be it living dead or those driven into psychotic rage (28 days later), are always really strong, super strong. Some mentioned in an earlier post about how somehow they can always bite through a human skull.
These people are supposed to be really really bloody ill so how come they can still break through bulletproof glass or outrun a perfectly healthy person? It makes no sense! Though I appreciate it would be a really boring film if they all took to their sick beds.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:05
sorry if its been said allready, but i only managed to get to post #74...
Every bag of shopping will be a paper bag, and contain at least 1 french roll...
also in tv (i'm looking at you grays anatomy/ crappy spin offs) every second speech speel appears to begin AND end with exactly the same phrase.. Its getting boring. STOP IT!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:10
Every main or supporting character seems to have a peaceful death. They go out saying something that puts everything at ease or being with the one they care about. Why can't a main character go out screaming in agony after being shot or tortured instead of peacefully passing away?!
Here's another. . . . Why the hell is there a peaceful moment between two people who love each other in the middle of a horrble tradgedy?! Like they decide to settle their deifferences and blurt their true feelings when they should be running for dear life and dealing with their personal issues later!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:28
How about grumpy cops with an awful grudge on 'pencil pushers' working behind their desks all day or vica versa!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:31
No one ever sneezes or coughs in films. You don't ever see someone in mid sentence, then all of a sudden "Oh, excuse me.... ATCHOO... sorry, as I was saying..".
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:36
Sequels in either Paris or London!!!! Gets on my wick!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:46
Bad guys monologueing!!!!!! Just shut the hell up and kill the guy!!!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 11:51
Here's one that really pushes my buttons!!!! . . .
Either the Golden Gate Bridge, Pyramids of Egypt, the Eiffel Tower or every majot building in New York gets demolished in disaster movies!!!
Why the hell doesn't a monster decide to tear up Wales or Bangladesh?!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:14
What really bothers me (and this is seen in many many films) is that you have the heroes/friends/a couple and everything's going fine for the first half of the film and they're happy together. But then, for whatever reason, they break up/fall out, and by the end of the film they are back together again usually just before defeating the baddie/succeeding in whatever it was they set out to do and they live happily ever after/all's well that ends well. I guess it's necessary in many films, but it's what I believe to be the biggest movie cliche
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:14
Everyone from a different country is portrayed as a clihe in American films! Look and the way they talk is the biggest ignorant joke!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:18
When baddies reveal their plan before carrying it out, thus the goodie stops it (avoided in Watchmen though: 'I'm not some kind of comic book villian.')
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:20
if this has been said apologies..
but..there's a serial killer on the loose (most likely one people in your town encountered 20 years ago (to the date) ) if your friends have been killed...he/she is in your neighbourhood..where ever you go..especailly if alone..
TURN THE LIGHTS ON
and...not just in horror movies..in action too..GET UP QUICKER...
really bugs me as i always yell those two things out loud...
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:24
Why does the military take immediate aggressive action without knowing anything about what thing lies in front of them . . . The Colonel always seems hell bent on destroying shit left right in centre like it's the answer everything! Surely you don't have to have on your person spec: Uncontrollable testosterone, aggression and a hateful ignorance to everythin unusual that you face when you become an army officer?!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:24
Pet hate number 1 in Hollywood action movies -
Taking cover behind a wooden door/car body will stop a round from any weapon......
....no actually, it wouldn't.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:53
People who are Dutch in a movie are speaking with a German accent, or even... speak German!!! Please do your homework, hollywood. Or cast a Dutch actor/actrice ;)
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 12:57
TV news cliche:
Whenever somebody says there is something important on the news they always manage to catch it just as the report is starting. Never in the middle or just missing it. And all the stations seem to air their news and same reports at the same time.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 13:11
When the hero has been absolutely beaten to the ground, tries to get up, but is pinned down by the villain, I hate (but knid of love) that he gets a sudden burst of energy when the villain mentions his wife/girlfriend/best friend/dog/neighbour/dry cleaner/hamster that the villain killed at the start of the film, and dispatches the bad guy.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 13:23
How about when someone falls to their knees, looks up to the sky and shouts "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Usually after someone has died in their arms. The Simpsons blatantly took the piss out of it, but people still put it in movies. Wolverine did it a couple of times in Wolverine Origins, and I'm sure it's used a fair bit in the Star Wars prequels.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 13:32
Tracking systems and sat navs that constantly beep, and computer screens that dont really show anything except cool graphics and loads of numbers but still hack into anything they want
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 14:18
I've got a huge one, I dunno if its been said yet, but, saying "Lock and Load", it is absolutely awful, and its single-handedly ruined many action movies.
See also, cocking a shotgun before even going into the fight, What happens when they are running into the battle and bang! "Oh, sorry buddy, I cocked it back there, I didnt mean to pull the trigger, it was an accident"
Also with just about any Guy Ritchie movie there will be a character with a stupid nickname, i.e Handsome Bob, Hatchet Harry or Frankie Four Fingers.
Fight Club is one of them "anti-cliche" films. We see Pitt and Norton and the toilet, in the bath and even brushing their teeth. Great Film.
On the note of villians being indestructible, a great case of this is Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, where Leatherface in stabbed once in the neck and once in the back. Now I'm no doctor, but that can't be too good, can it? I'm almost sure he wouldn't able to chase down a Marine whilst wielding a big, fuck-off chainsaw, Oh whats that? He did?...Well shut me up.
Why do all British films have be either low-rate gangster films in London or even lower-rate hooligan films?
How about when a hero is fighting the villain, the villain will always get the better of him before the hero musters up the strength to somehow finish him. Regardless of the villains foot on his neck. Or the knife in his back. Please See: The Matrix, Every single one of the blades, 30 days of night, (i'm sorry to say, but...)The Dark Knight.
Actually the only film i've seen where this doesn't happen is in Fight Club, with Tyler and Jacks second fight in the club car park and Tyler kicks seven shades of shit out of him. Hmmm,,,,I like this game.......
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 14:53
Has noone mentioned this? Did I miss it?
Especially true in old westerns... and maybe its period piece correct because of lack of choices... but is it really possible to walk in to a bar, club, resturant and ask for a "beer" and just have one handed to you without the bartender/waiter asking "what kind?" ........ Now I'm sure it has to do with trademarks and copywrites, but what distiller/distributor wouldn't gladly allow there name brand to be asked for by Tom Cruise or Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale in their next box office endeavor????
just once... "I'll take a Pabst Blue Ribbon!" .... they need the publicity
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 14:55
Casting Irish guys to play Scottish guys etc. Although you have to give credit to Trainspotting–a decent Scottish cast there! Scottish people being badddies is quite common. Need to cast a bad guy? Go for a Scot. If he needs to be a hopeless romantic male lead–cast a Scot and make him put on a stupid Oirish/English accent that they struggle throughout the entire movie with. (Dougray/McGregor are the worst for this) Don’t think I’ve ever seen many Scottish characters who are sexy/romantic/do-gooder (except Bond) & not forgetting the lovely John Hanna in Sliding Doors or McGregor in Moulin Rouge. That’s about it. It’s usually a script work-around–eg we want to cast McGregor/Dougray/Hanna so let’s make the character Scottish instead of the original plan of English/American
With regards to rom-coms-they wouldn’t be comedies if the person died at the end–they would be a romantic tragedy (Moulin rouge, romeo & juliet) Person dying not funny–cue tears from grown men. So hence why romcoms are romantic & funny. It’s all in the title really! People go & watch them because they are light hearted & they know they will leave the cinema with a smile. Horror flicks–recent trend for a cast members to lose it completely and go all “primal” (girl in Descent and dude on Hill have Eyes) Survival instinct kicks in & they suddenly find superhuman strength and agiilty-whilst rescuing various family members/pals & delivering fatal blows to eveil creatures(how they didn’t find the instinct a wee bit sooner to save their mates is a shame)
Agreed that people getting the crap kicked out of them looking like they have just had a fight with their teddy bear. Although Trek did buck that trend with puffy faced Junior Kirk looking like he’d done a few rounds with Tyson. Nice one Trek–that’s why we love ya.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 14:57
I know others have said this one, but it is used so much.
The good guy is cornered by the bad guy, Bad guy has a gun on him, we focus on the good guy's face as a gunshot rings out.
And the bad guy has been shot by the good guy's buddy we didn't know was there.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 16:06
As well as listing cliches we should celebrate the films that ignore/subvert the classic cliches;
Galaxy Quests self-destruct countdown has been mentioned.
Micheal Corleone being knocked cold with one punch and then nursing a badly swollen face afterward in The Godfather.
Anticipating the inevitable car chase Jason Bourne queries the upkeep of the car and checks a street map before slamming it in to reverse gear. Extra points for the silent breather that follows as they recover from the action.
After Harry is shot in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang he removes the book that miraculously stopped the bullet from his front pocket only to realise that the hole goes all they way through and corresponds with another hole in his chest.
During the calm before a 'shock' attack from the giant crocodile the sheriff quips "I just have this feeling everything is totally safe"
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 16:07
...in Lake Placid
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 16:46
Characters who renounce violence will either end up shooting somebody at the end of the film (Die Hard, The Quick and the Dead, High Noon) or will be killed by the villain and die serenely (especially if they're elderly and mentorish), prompting the hero to strap on his guns and get revenge. It would be nice to see a hero resolve the crisis and maintain their ideals until the credits.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 17:01
This might be a little obsure, but has anyone noticed that any character that has been either malformed or crippled will either:
A: commit completely random or pointless acts of violence/torture etc,
B: appear scary, but will later be discovered to possess a playful, childlike innocence, or
C: do both.
eg. Hills have eyes, The Orphanage, Phantom of the Opera, even Lurch in Hot Fuzz!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 17:03
I may be ranting, but for once i'd like to see a cheerful, well-adjusted malformed bloke in a movie, for reasons other than an attempt at equality :(
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 17:14
"I do sort of get tired with the 'priest is a paedophile' cliche."
This is because so many are... it's also become a cliche in the news.
Mine has been touched on already but is so stupid I'll make the point again.
Movie villains never kill the hero when they have the chance (Austin Powers illustrated this), films that come to mind: James Bond films and the worst example has to be Die Hard (3): Die Harder when the villain ties the heroes to a bomb, I mean please come on, it would take five seconds to put a bullet in their heads!!!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 17:24
Maybe I'm watching the wrong movies? All the priests I have seen on screen have been yummy types - McGregor in Angels & Demons, Byrne in Stigmata, Phoenix in Quills. Which ones were you thinking of? Agreed they are in the news quite often though....
"i'd like to see a cheerful, well-adjusted malformed bloke in a movie, for reasons other than an attempt at equality" - Does the guy from Shaun of the Dead count? the best mate one? I'm sure there is one - let me think for a minute!
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 17:28
Got it!! The guy from the Goonies! "Hey!!!......You guys!!!" That dude. Well adjusted is he not? Becomes best mates with Chunk after years of torture from the Fratelli family. Still maintains his sense of self worth, decency and heroism. : - )
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 18:44
i have to say, i'm disappointed by this blog. i think it's really the first one on the list that set me on the way down: it's not "overused" it's "overunthoughtof"
plus it's called "complete list" and you only gave five of them. surely enough of these sort of lists have been made that you can find more than five?
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 18:49
If you are running in an airport, looking for the love of your life you just realised you had, you will always reach them in time and none of the airport staff will care, they'll just let you right on through all the barriers and stuff.
Supervillains in films must always reveal their insanely detailed and unrealistic master plans to the hero in a smug monologue, then get immediately shot by the hero, who has been wriggling out of those ropes tying him up all along.
Henchmen are always nameless, incredibly easy to dispose of and most of them have Wilhelm Screams.
Hired goons have names like Knuckles or Fingers, and can't speak, only grunt or make a little sigh when they get knocked out (discounting, of course, when the supervillain asks them to do something and they go 'Errr, sure boss.')
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 19:58
A variation on the L shaped sheet - women wear bras during sex.
People use email programmes you've never seen before with ridiclously simplified interfaces and type in 48-point font.
Complete dweeb of a guy has to choose between two gorgeous women (film usually made by dweebish guy - wish fulfillment?).
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 19:58
Some bloggers complain that fights are too choreographed, thus looking fake.
Consider this: In your average movie, whenever a group of friends are sitting in a cafe, chatting around, the conversation always flows smoothly throughout. No interrupting each other; no long, akward pauses; no coughs or yawns.
Is it choreographed?
Yes! It's called a script.
That's why you know you're watching a movie and not a documentary.
As for the rom-com plot always being the same: Film-making 101.
It's called an ARCH. You can't have a climax in the end without a major downer right before. It's the calm before the storm.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 21:37
Parents in indie comedies who are tolerant, wise and funny, rather than irritable, impatient and irrational - and if they do show any of the negative traits they will have a parental epiphany by the end of the film. Guff.
The underdog has trained exceptionally hard in an unfeasibly short period of time (cue montage) - but then just before the big race/match/tournament their confidence gets a knock, then they're all like "Who am I kidding? I'm not a winner!", but wise mentor finds finds some way to make the hero unwittingly demonstrate how much they've learned, and then they're all like "Yeah! let's kick some ass!" and then they do. Assbucket.
the weedy teen hero ends up with the coolest girl in school because not only is she ridiculously hot, but she has integrity and she's attracted to the strength of his personality.
Bullies will be given a taste of their own medicine and will end the movie contrite or humiliated. They will not then turn up at the bus-stop half an hour later with a gang of 10 psychotic hoody mates and smash the hero's head in with a brick, then stab him in the leg and film him bleeding to death on their mobile phones
The reason the slighly geeky but kookily attractive office girl is single is because she just has such a hard time finding the right man in the big city. It's never because she has crippling insecurity, neuroses and halitosis, and has developed an emotional dependence on soap operas - and she's not actually very clever or funny or interesting
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 21:48
Don't know if anyone has said this one yet but whenever someone in a movie knocks on a door they wait for a maximum of about 3 seconds before knocking again or peering in through a window without any thought for the fact that the person inside probably isn't standing on the other side of the door with their hand on the handle waiting for someone to knock. Annoys me more than anything else.
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 22:06
the biggest cliche in any movie - and it is apparent in almost every movie - is the character arc - whatever needs to be resolved will be resolved within the time frame of the narrative.
You might argue this is an essential cliche to make a narrative function - and you may be right - but it's definitely not real. Changing peronsalities or learning ethical or moral lessons are usually very cumulative and subtle processes with no begining, middle or end. Or if you're Tarantino: end, beginning, a bit more end, some middle, some beginning, some middle, some snappy dialogue, some shots of feet, and an obscure seventies classic
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 22:18
If you're out for revenge, someone you love will be made to suffer just before you finally confront your nemesis
Searchig for a secret compartment or passageway? Simple! Give up in exasperation. Your accident-prone side-kick will then stumple upon the switch within seconds.
Are you a towering, glowering, bearded bear of a man, with a roguish disposition and a natural tendency towards aewsome violence? Would I be correct in assuming that you're married to a tiny delicate little lady and that you're ridiculously stupidly sweet to your widdle snooky-pumpkin?
Loving this blog Helen
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 22:46
Scene set in an interior with no light source - there will be some contrived convenient alternative (the worst being the ancient torch in a bracket on the wall of the tomb) - or - and this is far worse - they simply light the scene anyway but subtly enough that the viewer is supposed to buy in to the convention that it is really really dark
Foreplay - never interrupted by the need to pee
Hollywood movies are the only place in the world where a realtively sober person can chat up another relatively sober person in a bar and get casual sex out of it - no one pulls in bars until the end of the night when everyone's really drunk and starting to get desperate
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 22:51
Fuck the maguffin
In the ear
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 23:00
Being gay is always an issue - it's never just an insignificant part of the backstory
Black characters are the ones who say anything offensive or stereotypical or critical about black people - because they're allowed to
Artists possessed by creative compulsions that they can not control and that will ultimately destroy them (like me with this blog. Must stop now...)
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 23:02
When a gun runs out of bullets, simply throw it away as it is clearly useless. Don't ever keep it for reloading at some later point!
the ageless stranger
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2009, 23:26
Any action on a computer screen, such as opening a new window, printing out a sentence etc., will be accompanied by a beeping noise, so you know the computer's working.
No-one ever gets along with step-parents.
If a guy wants to console himself after a traumatic event, it's always by sitting in the dark alone with a beer. Never by, say, reading, or watching his favourite DVD and eating a load of Pringles.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 02:20
When people get punched in the face, they usually just bleed a little through their nose or mouth, then they wipe it off with their fingers, take a look at it and then strike back...without showing any pain.
Horror movies: the funny guy always dies.
Morgan Freeman is God.
When you need to give your phone number/address to someone, you always have a personal card containing that information.
Anybody wearing glasses must be intelligent.
And about the last-second-defused bomb: every second lasts for about 10 seconds.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 05:14
Whenever someone sneezes, they immediately assume they are, or are believed to be, coming down with a 'cold'.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 05:57
There's always someone who orders food/a drink and barely tastes it.
the ageless stranger
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 09:14
Every scientific team is composed of: The ex-married couple and centre of the film, the nerdy guy who does the real figuring out, the stoner who sits around making jokes and seeming too stoned to possibly be any kind of academic, and possibly a military/government presence.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 10:05
This is one more common to US Tv shows:
English people are all horribly stuffy and sexually repressed not like those open minded yanks.
English people are always wealthy and live in ginormous country mansions.
Hookers or Escorts are always gorgeous and in no way disease ridden, horribly depressed and always have perfect make-up. If they don't fit into this bracket then they are a tranny.
Irish people seem to come from the 19th century and al believe in Banshees and leprachauns. Bejaysus and Begorrah.
A crime novelist will always help the police in their investigations as the police are clearly a bunch up braindead fucktards.
Cops seem to have amazing salaries and can afford tailored suits and amazing apartments(Exception being NYPD Blue)
Police precincts are always state of the art buildings with up to date interior design.
Alcohol has zero affect on anyone in US tv shows as it impairs their driving in no way, unless the character is an alcoholic or wants to get drunk because the guy/girl they're in love with is with somebody else.
People who had sex the night before always wake up in their underwear or simply didn't take it off when they were banging each other.
Teenagers never look like actual teenagers(except the awesome Freaks and Geeks) and never have bad hair/skin/clothes.
When showing a map of murder locations/crime scenes in big manhunts, it will usually be in some advanced graphics format. How long did that take to make and how much did it cost?
I could go on and on but this post is already too long.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 11:27
"Other peoples clothing will always fit you if you knock them out and steal it."
Except if you're Indy and are hiding from Nazi's...
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 12:15
The FBI is always late, the Cavalry is in the nick of time and CNN always knows before anyone else. Go figure.
Type casting is a pet peeve. When I see a poster and recognise certain actors, I just know that they have been cast as the villain of the piece. Come on, people. Make actors who are usually cast as the hero play the other side for a change. The few times I have seen this happen was a nice change of pace and allows one to bury the teen age fantasy for good.
Slapstick comedy is just not funny. Oh, one laughs when it happens and then feels embarrassed about it afterwards. Good dialogue is so much more valuable and memorable.
Supposedly benign experiment gone horribly wrong!
Will think of more and add them later.....
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 13:07
The guy is due to... Get married tomorrow or Has his last day on the "front line"/ last day before retiring.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 13:49
If a sympathetic character coughs unexpectedly they are about to die of some tragic disease.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 13:50
This may seem like too broad a complaint but bare with me; character arc. Why does every story have to take place at a tumultuous period of personal upheaval? Weirdly, I find it most annoying in RomComs. Same formula every time, the cavalier renegade who charms with his roguish behaviour and gets increasingly depraved all the way through. Only for in the end the lady to burst into tears or something and he fundamentally alters his personality to church-going gift shop counter kind of man. So, romance is about women whittling men down to what they consider appropriate? Or about men telling ladies anything they want to hear? Personally I don't want to see another arc, I want a natural rendition; a crescendo of bastard and a messy ending.
the ageless stranger
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 14:15
"Kane" is an inherently evil name.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 14:55
Ok too any posts for me to read through so these have probably been mentioned already but here are some of mine:
People must investigate strange noises in their underwear.
Being fat, slutty, obnoxious, nerdy, or a member of a minority is a good way to get killed in a horror movie.
If you are the hero in an action movie getting shot in the shoulder (which will of course happen) is the equivalent of stubbing your toe.
If you meet a southern hick in a horror movie he is either trying to kill you or direct you to the person that will.
Cops never believe the hero when told about the serial killer, even when presented with pretty clear cut evidence.
The main characters in a romantic comedy always seem to declare their love in a crowd, usually followed by tumultous applause. (why is that?? have you ever seen a two strangers getting back together and felt the need to celebrate??).
the underdog team of misfits always win (despite the fact that the asehole team are clearly more higly skilled and work harder).
In romantic comedies the suuposedly perfect, charming, sensitive guy the heroine will end up with nearly always has a bitchy/trampy girlfriend, clearly showing that he is either an idiot or is completely shallow but who cares because he will dump her to be with the much more worthy heroine.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 15:03
Here it is... sorry to ruin the end of every film...
the dumb/disabled/menatly ill person is always the badguy... this started, of course, after "the usual suspects"... Altough they used it before aswell.
Cheers, for this great list!
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 15:03
In scenes where there is a stand-off or about be one or where a SWAT team for instance is about to go into the action, the guns get cocked and then cocked again in the tense stand-off moment......without being fired inbetween!!!! Classic example - the stand-off in the sub control room on Crimson Tide (great film though!). Why doesn't anyone pick this sort of thing up?
Also, people speaking on phones and responding before anyone could have said anything at the other end.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 15:08
I am loving this blog and the comments.
Random cliches that are starting to get boring now;
- If you are an action hero and have a daughter, she'll be kidnapped. And if she is 18+, she'll be usually just wearing a nightie through most of the hostage scene. I am looking at you 'Die Hard 4.0' and 'Taken'. Not boring, just, well, strip them properly, bad guys...
- You can approach an enemy encampment undetected. The guards are clearly employed because of their inexperience of guarding facilities...
- No-one will believe you saw a [insert: monster, alien, ghost, supposedly dead friend, here] and won't until they die. Horribly.
- Henchmen are clearly harder than their bosses and could quite probably easily overthrough their overbearing boss should they wish to. 'Rocknrolla' bucked this trend.
- There is no world outside of New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris or Washington D.C. If per chance there is, it will be a hostile place.
- Hookers have a 'heart of gold.'
- If you're Ryan Reynolds, you'll be incredibly funny.
- Ray Liotta will be seedy.
- Tom Cruise will run.
- Harrison Ford will try to run. The man clearly can't.
- Sadie Frost, Alex Kingston and Kate Winslet will get naked. Not boring as such, but please can Scarlett Johansson, Ali Larter and Elisha Cuthbert take the baton. Alice Braga, your attempts have been noted and appreciated.
- Brad Pitt will attempt to save the leather jacket industry on his own.
and finally, for now,
- no-one picks up weapons from recently deceased baddies. No, your martial arts training will save the day...
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 15:10
Oh, and if you are confronted with someone in a building, surround it and point your (very heavy) guns at it for hours at a time, just in case something requires having shot-guns and pistols shot at it from beyond-effective-range...
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 15:30
My girlfriend just pointed out this one to me:
Women who get out of bed and wrap the bedsheet around themself.
Who the fuck does that? Either put on your clothes or walk around naked.
People burning discs on a computer in under a minute.
Snapping a CD in two with ease. Ever tried it? They usually bend a bit and require a fair amount of effort before it actually breaks.
Food and drink that never actually looks hot. Flat beer and champagne.
Somebody brings over a six pack of beer and they open it straight away and then put it in the fridge. Nobody reacts with a "Bluugh! Warm Beer!".
Cold drinks that never have any condensation.
People waking up the morning and looking like they just spent 2 hours doing their hair and make up.
People waking up with a hangover and simply go "Man my head is killing me!" and are perfectly fine in 20 minutes. Nobody ever feels the need to not move ever and simply crawl onto the couch, order pizza, eat a shit load of hangover munchies and watch Star Wars.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 16:12
Q always manages to give James Bond the exact right gadgets for the mission:
Bond gets buried alive in a steel coffin:
"Oh shit, well, good thing Q gave me these shoes that turn into a hacksaw, and my cufflinks here transform easily into a small spade..."
The recent renovation of the Bond series bucks this trend and I love them,,,,
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 16:22
I agree with the above; the cliches that swamped the Bond series from 'Thunderball' to 'Tomorrow Never Dies' killed it in my eyes. 'Casino Royale' has hopefully kick-started a non-cliched series re-boot...
- Old Bond cliche; Geriatric super-spy pulls nymphomaniac younger woman with one raised eyebrow and cheesy pun whilst wearing an ill-thought out beige safari-suit...
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 16:42
Will Smith is never, ever wrong.
The American President will never believe a scientist untill it's too late.
Anyone who lives in London in a romantic comedy, no matter what their job is, will live in a home that rivals 10 Downing Street.
The unpopular kids/geeks in an American high school could be models if they took their glasses off.
It's possible to show no emotion at all after witnessing someone die/killing someone for the first time
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 16:58
The hero will never have a novelty ringtone/realtone that they put on their mobile long before the film began. It will always be a generic ringing sound, or the signature tone of the movie’s sponsor (Sony Ericsson/Nokia etc.) This can even happen in the 23rd fucking century, like in Star Trek!
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 17:12
No character is allowed to have diabetes (like myself), asthma or any other condition that requires regular treatment unless it is pertinent to the story/shows how ‘quirky’ the character is/causes problems for them when they mess up their treatment. Examples: The kid in Panic Room getting low blood sugar, Le Chiffre’s inhaler being used to plant a bug and countless comedies where the ‘nerd’ character has to use an inhaler. I’ve never seen a film where a character is about to have a meal but gives themselves an insulin injection first (and the condition DOESN’T cause problems for them later)
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 17:21
When investigating a crime scene, a cop will find something and shout to the others (usually our main character(s) “Hey! You better take a look at this!” They will never describe what they have found, so that our heroes are forced to come upstairs and see for themselves the baby nailed to a crucifix/a photo of all the murder victims to date at a charity dinner ten years ago/a stack of Empire’s ‘Sex’/‘Hot’ issues under the bed.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 17:53
All handheld games played by kids will be accompanied by bleep-bloop Gameboy sound effects/music, no matter what handheld console they’re playing with. Also, whenever games are featured in the living room, two people (usually kids) will be playing it at the same time, even if screen is showing a 1-player game (Charlie’s Angels and Hitman show this, and Shaun of the Dead has a variant where Shaun drops in and out of Ed’s Timesplitter 2 game, which you can’t do in the real thing)
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 17:57
Jack and John are two action hero names that have been done to death. Points should be deducted for variants such as Jake or any other ‘J’ names
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 20:55
The 'wrong room'
In serial killer films:
the last killing, the psycho's in a dingy room about to gut his last victim
the hero's running towards a door in a dingy corridor
the killer starts to cut
the hero kicks down the door - bursts in...
and it's the wrong freakin room!
the killer carries on gutting - probably the hero's wife/friend/partner
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 21:01
When the hero's gun (or whatever) gets knocked from his hand, the camera ALWAYS jumps to the weapon hitting or sliding across the floor. Why? We already know that the weapon has gone and we can guess that a) the hero wins without his gun or b) during the struggle the hero will stretch for the gun that's (oh so close) just out of reach by half an inch then get it and shoot the villain.
Of course, c) the hero gets killed, never happens.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 21:04
And in a subtle fit of cliche denial, in The Dark Knight Batbloke doesn't save the girl.
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 21:08
Okay, I have always wanted to talk about this. The comments below obviously only apply to average brain-wipe movies - apologies if some of these have always been mentioned (deep breath)....
1. Anyone can be thrown through, shoot or dive through glass causing the whole pane to practically disintegrate.
2. No one ever says good bye on the phone. I have tried this and it is SO weird, it's impossible to do without feeling weird.
3. If you are shot or stabbed anywhere in the torso you will die surprisingly quickly but not before saying a wee line. Usually you die with your eyes open and blood ALWAYS comes out of your mouth at some point.
4. A lot of baddie gunmen are AWFUL at aiming at the hero running across a hallway
5. Helicopter gunships not being able to take out the hero in a bloody FIELD. Uh yeah, right.
6. Any vehicle will EXPLODE the second it crashes into a vertical surface or when it lands from a huge fall.
7. Any car will explode just as someone is scrabbling free from the wreckage.
8. The innocent person, when wandering into a murder scene, always picks up the weapon which is when the police turn up.
9. Really overused phrases "Aw hell no", "You wanna dance" and "I ain't dyin' today!"
10. Ethnic minorities - usually hispanic or black - always talkin' 'bout their heritage usually before something bad happens.
11. ANYTHING digital or electronic ALWAYS makes a noise, i.e. digital watch, password entry, movie animation highlighting the dastardly plans - ANYTHING.
12. Passwords are always solved because they are too easy or the person attempted is just amazing and brilliant at deductive reasoning. I bet if the password was ARSE, they'd never get in.
13. A surprising amount of people are computer savvy especially if they are children.
14. When some poor person is about to die, they are completely aware of this and sream at the top of their voice either "NOOOOOOOOO" or "AAAAARGH"
Ok, this has probably all been said anyway...
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 21:26
What's with those mysterious brown paper bags that movie characters always carry their shopping in? I've never, ever seen them in real life, even in America!
Posted on Friday May 29, 2009, 22:53
No one has a rear view mirror in their car. Ever.
And no one has the courtesy to say 'good bye' when they hang up a phone.
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2009, 02:01
Apologies if anyone has already mentioned these, but no matter how many liters of blood a hero loses after being injured it never results in a loss of consciousness. I can cut my finger open and be out like a light within two mins but in the movies you can be spilling blood all over the place and you won't pass out, but for some strange reason a large cut (usually in your side) will cause you to have to limp about.
This one occured mostly in the 70's & 80's but always drove me crazy, when someone affixes a silencer to a revolver. For one revovlers don't have threaded barrels, secondly the blast exits from the cylinder & not the barrel which is why they don't make silencers for revolvers to begin with.
Just a correction directed to Web Head, Americans have the right to own guns but we can't just walk around with a pistol tucked in our pants. I live in Arizona which I think may be the only State (or one of only a couple) where you are allowed to carry a gun without a permit as long as it's not concealed. The down side is that there aren't many places that will let you in if your carrying even if you have a permit to carry concealed. Also the laws for transporting guns are so strict that it kind of defeats the purpose of carrying a gun.
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2009, 16:45
My apologies if someone else has written this, but I had to get it off my chest before reading all the other comments.
I hate the way the lead "good guy" always manages to kill hench men with just one, randomly aimed shot. But when it comes to the main "bad guy" they always take forever to kill him/her. See any Bruce Willis movie for proof. Loved the way the first Austin Powers movie played on this, though.
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2009, 17:11
Relating to comment 63, Christian Slater as JD in Heathers does get his words mixed up. When seeing Veronica after she had supposedly hanged herself, he says "I knew that loose was too noose". He then recovers this and says "noose too loose". I don't know if this was scripted, or a genuine mistake by Slater but it plays very well within the scene.
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2009, 23:04
The only bread ever bought is a French stick, which sticks out of the top of the brown paper bag
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 12:22
Why do bad guys particularly waste perfectly good Zippo lighters to set fire to a trail of petrol? I'd be gutted if mine got wasted.
Speaking of fire lighting equipment, what happens when you've only got one match left and you really need it to light? After a very tense couple of seconds, it lights and the hero is saved. What a shock!
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 15:50
Space ships wooshing as they pass.......there's no air in space!!!
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 17:20
Okay, you know how in a lot of movies at the climactic action sequence the bad guy often explains himself quite in depth while the action-hero is tied up or being held by henchmen. Just once I'd like to see one of the two get shot in the face in the middle of a speech. For example: the villain begins his "The world today is a festering cesspool and needs to be wiped clean" but before he finishes, the hero shoots him in the face.
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 17:24
Do barrels of gasoline actually blow up if you shoot them or do they just get holes in them? What about shooting a car? An oxygen tank?
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 17:36
I love that one scream that in every movie ever filmed. You know the one where the storm trooper falls of the bridge. That one.
Also Steve Zissou is impossible to shoot and I love it!
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 18:34
Just thought of another one! The tramp who everyone thinks is just crazy either predicted what would happen or inspires the hero to continue the quest.
If homeless man can predict the future, why doesn't he predict the lottery results, win and buy a house? It's a dramatic tool, particularly with blind old men, that was invented by the playwrites of Ancient Greece. Maybe, and I don't want to be too contravesial here, it's time for a change.
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 19:33
I don't know if this has already been posted but here goes.
Any American car that has a manual transmission seem to have an endless supply of gears The Fast and The Furious is a prime example as the car that Vin diesel drives at the end must have at least 8!
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 20:08
okay I know there are zillions of cliches, but there are a two that I just cannot stand and they happen in almost every movie
1) the -I am horny, but I don't want sex-
Man and woman are about to tear each others clothes off and kissing heavily, suddenly there is that interrupting phone call or the girl (usually she is the one interrupting yes) finds a note in her pocket or she reminds all of sudden of the message someone has given her earlier but slipped her mind until now. She will always say something like: "I could be important" and all the need for sex is immediately gone!!!
2) the action hero has unlimited chances
Say James Bond has to kill 6 foes, unfortunately for him he has only 5 rounds for his handgun. All the baddies shoot in a group but they all miss target, while james blasts them one by one, usually very creatively between the eyes and so on. But because he is one bullet short he can't kill the last one, so what will that crook do
A) you bloody bas$#%d, I'll kill you right now for blasting all my best friends!!!
B) Got you!! You are coming with me to the boss.
If you have chosen B, you are 100% correct!!!!
and this happens multiple times, like hero kills 20 of the big boss' hardest men, big boss will only capture him, hero escapes, sends henchman after him, hero kills 40 henchman, last henchmen will spare him and bring him back alive, hero will escape again..
This is just crazy, absolutely pathetic and it makes me cringe!!
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 20:40
Because I like this article so much, here is some more
1) beggars, homeless and drunks will always give away their dearest possessions, like a talisman or a magic ring
2) it is easy to break a beer bottle on someone's head
3)if an American is on a mission in South america, Egypt, Vietnam anything you name it, and native guides and warriors are there to aid him on his quest, they will die all and first, despise the fact that the guides or native warriors know the place, have trained all of their life and were raised in that area.
4)helicopters can sneak up on you
5)heroes never don't need a training session, in all of the schwarzenegger movies, you never see him do a workout. He is just muscular by accidence.
6)in most horror movies at night, inside scary houses it is always darker than outside, where there are no lamp posts and you are supposed to see nothing but the pitch black scenery. Ever tried to stay at a farm in the middle nowhere at night? then you'll exactly know what I mean
7)when entering a trailer or truck cabin, the inside of it gets automatically as big as a house.
8)snipers always set up a rifle in a hour usually extending the right muzzle for the rifle, miss target, hero always ducks in time, knows the sniper was responsible for the broken glass, shoots the sniper from long range off the roof, sniper couldn't attempt a second gunshot because of over confidence he thought he only needed to load one bullet.
9)this may be sensitive one, but is is sooo true. Countries like usa, england and australia are inhabited by only/mostly whites, which is a complete opposite of reality.
10)You can tell rats 'n rodents are tame, because they are usually not running wild or very passive.
11)You always get a private room in a hospital
12)It is easy to just "talk" someone out of a coma
13)In the end, a disabled person in a wheelchair can walk again
14) The bad boy is 24/7 at the night club, you will always find him there!!
(I am out of characters *_*)
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 22:35
"Space ships wooshing as they pass.......there's no air in space!!!"
Good point. I love how in Serenity, Joss Whedon nearly manages to sidestep this cliche, but then undoes all his good work (including Firefly's beautifully scored space shots) because, well, you can't just have an epic space battle play out in silence, can you? It would be weird. Haven't watched the commentary, he probably makes reference to it himself. Still. Respect to the man for holding off as long as he did. I apologise if there's some explanation, action taking place in the upper stratosphere or something.
Also, totally done with scary kids. Without any research or foreknowledge of her career, I knew by the end of Bridge to Terabithia that AnnaSophia Robb had played a scary little girl in a mediocre, by-the-numbers horror film. Two weeks later, my local One-Stop shop, twenty-odd bargain-bin copies of The Reaping with a familiar pretty little blonde girl on the cover. It's done. Find a new thing. Scary ferrets. Scary iPod docks. Scary storage heaters.
Posted on Sunday May 31, 2009, 22:39
15 the American in Japan can simply survive by speaking only two words, arigatou and konnichiwa
16 It is natural to beat someone up who is twice as strong and tall. Prime example, 166cm skinny marty mc fly knocks down bulky 193cm Biff, multiple times.
Best joke was perhaps in Indiana jones, in the scene where his punches didn't have any result on the big bald German or the large tough Indian with the beard.
17 "you okay?"
18 There is always the abandoned plant or an industrial area with molten steel and moving hoist hooks. There are no guards or security, and the machines are just running with no workers around. See terminator 2.
19 you get over a shock or the loss of a good friend in a only few hours.
20 the complimentary, promotional box of matches is always the missing link which will lead to fresh new clues.
21 no matter if it is the year 2009, in American movies they still use instant ready camera's (polaroid tm).
22 pearly whitened and perfect teeth everywhere!!
23 anyone can read Morse code
24 if it is a matter of life and death, cell phones have no signal and for NO legit reason.
25 "everything's gonna be fine!"
26 "stay here", if you hear this, then you'll know the girl, child or wimp will ignore it and come after you
29 there is always the abandoned shed in the middle of the wilderness, which appears to be a perfect shelter against the weather and a place to get some sleep, it is usually filled with drums of petrol, blankets, canned food, chopped wood logs for the stove and even an abandoned car which still works after years of severe winters or sandstorms. All they have to do is replace the spark plug and the car will work like it is brand new! Like the former owners didn't give a d##n taking these items with them.
30 It is always easy to open windows from the outside
31 when the hero and heroine break into a grocery/convenience store, they do not even think of taking anything O_o
32 pirates and gypsies are always good people who steal only to survive.
Posted on Monday June 1, 2009, 06:41
you know in horror movies when it starts raining blood or they're in a pool and suddenly the water turns to blood, or at the end when the two blood soaked lovers have a bloody passionate kiss - you'd think you'd be at least be slightly concerned over the possibility of catching hepatitus from all that blood that doesnt belong to you.
Posted on Monday June 1, 2009, 09:22
Titled aristocratic English ladies who 'unexpectedly' fall for the scruffy colonial sheep herder/dirt farmer, after initially professing to despise him.
Posted on Monday June 1, 2009, 11:10
Watching House M.D. last night, I found a TV cliche that I'm starting to get sick of.
In House M.D., or Casualty, at the start of every episode, the first person to have a cough/sneeze/complain of a headache/etc. will be wheeled into hospital within the first minute of the program.
Although S5, Ep. 2 last night caught me out!
Posted on Monday June 1, 2009, 21:02
new york must be the most re-built city ever. why does detroit ever get destroyed. it certainly needs a re-fit.
Posted on Tuesday June 2, 2009, 09:52
Why are there such a large number of people who wish to see people going to the toilets in movies? Some cliches are there for a reason - it would be boring to include certain mundane aspects of real life.
'Reading books doesn't take long enough! Why don't we ever see people taking three hours to read novel?'
'Nobody ever has breakfast! The Bourne Ultimatum's great, but it would be greatly improved if Matt Damon stopped for a bowl of shreddies every now and then.'
Nonsense. Have some perspective, people. And personally I like it when knowing with absolute certainty that any blind man introduced in an Action film will end up driving a car at high speed.
Posted on Tuesday June 2, 2009, 13:03
1. THE EXPLOSION NO LOOK - in background something integral to the story has just exploded, our hero walks away in slow motion he/she doesn't run, smile, shout, cry, hide, get hurt or even turn to have a tiny peak at the flaming rubble coming flying towards them.
2. THE LIFT GAG - Loads of action, serious scene then BOOM - hard cut to the interior of a lift, our characters are taken from the scene and put into a life with an old granny, a business man, a kissing couple, anything and everything (not all at the same time of course) – When the writer puts this in he probably thinks, ‘’yeah this has been done before but f**k it, I’m not getting paid £10,000 per page to be original’’. Such a visual treat of juxtaposing action with relevant modern awkwardness of being in a life with a stranger.
3.THE NOOOOOOO – The crane shot of some silly character in the film screaming NOOOOOOO or ARGGGGGGGAAAAHHHH or RUBBBBIIISSSSHHHH into the air as the camera pans quickly away from them. Its probably doing so to avoid it’s other camera friends seeing him filming such clichéd embarrassing tripe.
FYI – WOLVERINE ORIGINS has all 3 of these terrible clichés. Oh dear. Oh dear
Posted on Tuesday June 2, 2009, 17:44
Good god, I need to a proof reader.
*LIFT not life. LIFT.
Posted on Tuesday June 2, 2009, 21:48
Sex Scenes - Why when a couple have just engaged in passionate sex, does she get out of bed to go to the bathroom still wearing her underwear?? Sure its possible she never took it off during the aforementioned act, but it would be damn awkward...And why would she put it back on?? In bed?
Or even worse....having engaged in previously mentioned sex, she gets up out of bed but covers her (presumably naked) body with the sheet...What? You weren't worried about your modesty five minutes ago when you were bumping and grinding sweetheart, but now your nipples are top secret! Please.....
And thats just for starters!
Posted on Tuesday June 2, 2009, 23:33
I love the fact in Face/Off that John Archer can shoot faceless cops in the knee caps with a pistol at a 100 yards while doing a back flip but can't shoot Caster Tory while stood right in front of him!
Anyway clichés are clichés for a reason. How good would a horror movie be if the people in them used common sense? "Yes, lets not split up and search for our friend in this scary house, but all go down to the police station together and file a missing persons report".
Or how feel-good would a rom-com be if it was more realistic? Like someone in their right mind would fly all the way to Portugal and embarrass themselves in front of girl they hardly knew.
If 24 was more realistic no-one would watch it. Just because something is stupid does not mean it isn't entertaining.
Posted on Wednesday June 3, 2009, 10:17
Childrens' laughter. Especially for children playing in the background, sound editors seem to have had only one recording available for the past decade.
Posted on Wednesday June 3, 2009, 11:08
That Scream - that sound bite scream which is used in so many things - Watch the Road trailer, it's about half way through.
aaarrrrhhhh. it's in broken arrow, face off, Die hard 3 and I'm pretty sure they use it in D00m 2.
Posted on Wednesday June 3, 2009, 17:02
ive only ever seen this in lost, but why is it whenever jin speaks korean, everyone has a go at him because they cant understrand him, but everyone talks english around him, and he never gets annoyed!?
the really emotional bit normally just before the climax in which the hero has a moment of self discovery
aliens are more or less the same size as humans, and have two arms, and two legs, and two eyes, two ears, nose, and mouth. whose to say there planet isnt five times the sive of ours, and are therefore twenty meters tall? or why dont have they have fifty tentacles coming out of thier eyes, which is where our nipples are?
Posted on Thursday June 4, 2009, 10:49
@slowhands107. That scream is known as the Wilhelm scream, its used in a lot of films. I think Quentin Tarantino has used it in almost all his films. Although i'd still like to hear some new sound effects every now and then.
Posted on Saturday June 6, 2009, 00:50
Helicopters which suddenly appear from nowhere, aren't they quite loud?
Posted on Saturday June 6, 2009, 18:35
Cigarettes are always stubbed out halfway by chain-smoker characters for no apparent reason.
Posted on Monday June 8, 2009, 20:41
1. A white character will never kiss a black character without it being plot related- see Save the Last Dance
2. The hero's pistol always has three times the ammo of the enemy's AK47 (to clarify: Your average 9mm carries 12 bullets, an AK holds around 30)- see Goldeneye
3. If there's a sniper we will ALWAYS see from his point of view- See Saving Private Ryan or Enemy at the Gates
4. The crazy old man will always turn out to be right- see Independence Day or Sneakers
5. Coffee often leads to moments of realisation- see Richard Gere in nearly every film he does
6. Foreigners prefer to speak English when alone together- see Rumble in the Bronx
7. Enemies preer to circle the hero and come at him one at a time rather than just all jumping him- see every martial arts film ever
8. On giving someone a lift home (or indeed anywhere) the other person won't get out before having an in depth conversation lasting several minutes, which could have easily been held on the way. But stationary car shots cost less- see 10 things I hate about you, most of the Lethal Weapons
9. The newly wed couple in a horror film are DEFINITELY getting killed- see Snakes on a Plane ( not horror but still a good example)
10. The hatch at the top of the elevator is always remarkably easy to remove, despite the fact that most elevators don't have these! - see Die Hard
11. The smallest bad guy is always the smartest and therefore the leader - see Die Hard, Home Alone, Space Jam
12. Zac Efron will always play Basketball- see any film with Zac Efron
13. It's never the person you most suspect, like it always is in real life- see Scream 1-3 and every subsequent teen horror film
14. In a sword fight, the hero will never attack any major bad guys with the intention to kill until the final reel, they'll just bash swords a bit (leave it)- see Mask of Zorro, Hook
Posted on Monday June 8, 2009, 21:00
15. The company boss is always an asshole, particulalry in comedy- see Click, The Matrix, In Good Company
16. Any ethnic minority in a comedy will always refer to the fact that they are an ethnic minority- see Rush Hour 1-3. Most action films do this too- see Pulp Fiction. But kudos to the Lethal Weapons for largely ignoring this.
17. A genius working on a problem will always come to a solution thanks to a totally random and isolated incident, often invloving someone or something unrelated to the problem- see Indepnedence Day, A Beautiful Mind
18. A gay man will always be incredibly camp, unless the film is partially or totally related to subverting those stereotypes- films that confirm are Blast From the Past, Con Air, The Next Best Thing (shudder...) and films that don't do this as it would be against the ideal of the film include Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
19. If someone sneezes or coughs, they'll be dead by the end of the movie- see Saw 2, 28 Days Later
20. In sports Movies, the coach will invariably become the father they never had- see Coach Carter, Remember the TItans, Hardball
21. The hero's gun will never jam- see every action film ever (and no the scene from "Die Hard with a Vengeance" doesn't count. That wasn't a gun jam, Zeus didn't take the safety catch off)
22. In any gang of street kids, one will wear a do-rag, one will be topless, one will be wearing a basketball top and one will be fat or combinations thereof- see 8 Mile, Kidulthood
23. During a chase through the woods, the heroine always falls over- see Eden Lake, Hostel Part 2, Jurassic Park
24. The elderly hero, such as Harrison Ford or Sean Connery, has no moral qualms about chatting up or bedding someone far younger- see The Last Crusade to catch them both at it
25. The court case will be going down the toilet until the last reel, unless the court case is based on real events in which case there's always the chance the hero could lose.
Posted on Tuesday June 9, 2009, 10:33
Characters who say:
"Lock and load!"
"Not on my watch"
"Fire in the hole"
English characters who are stuck in the 1950s, Irish characters who are stuck in the 1850s and Scots who wear kilts and live in castles.
Every police force in every nation on Earth happily letting the FBI take over their investigations just because an American was involved.
US soldiers, police, secret service agents etc being allowed to run around any country waving their guns around and shooting people.
Ugly guys getting gorgeous girls.
Posted on Tuesday June 9, 2009, 19:59
Computers that ALWAYS make bleeping noises when carrying out a command/task. NEVER had a computer that does this!
Posted on Thursday June 11, 2009, 14:54
In the climactic scene of a thriller/action movie the bad guys ALWAYS explains why he has done what he has done.
This 'explaining-story-moment' gives the good guy always enough time to recover from gunshots to attack the bad guy for the last time. and kill him. If not by an explosion.
Posted on Tuesday June 16, 2009, 12:46
Is it just me or does the aforementioned read like a rough screenplay for 'Taken'?....
Posted on Wednesday June 17, 2009, 15:34
The British portrayed as mean or evil bastards, even if part of the 'good guy team', in all American films.
Monotonous Queen's English accent spoken in Hollywood movies so that our friends across the pond can understand what's being said; because it's hard enough figuring out what 'trousers' are.
Characters reading aloud letters, emails, what they're typing on screen to themselves.
Enough of pathetic falacy! I want to see someone get upset and not end up wet through.
I'm sure all of these points have been challenged in one film or another though.
Posted on Thursday June 18, 2009, 20:50
From Impala: "the underdog team of misfits always win (despite the fact that the asehole team are clearly more highly skilled and work harder)."
Apart from in Cool Runnings!
From Lukeynemo: "21. The hero's gun will never jam- see every action film ever"
Except to create dramatic tension with the "will he make it out alive won't he" thing.
I know it's not a movie but Spooks goes against every single cliche I think!
Posted on Sunday June 21, 2009, 05:59
I completely agree with my mother that in movies, women always wake up in the morning looking splendid, with all her goddamn make up on, brushed hair, and without any sign of the mighty rheum in their angel eyes.
Another thing, is when hackers or computer-wizzes of all sorts are doing their mambo-jambo, they never use the mouse, they always are digitng frantically, and as far as I use the computer, when I have to select stuff, I never use the keyboard, but the mouse.
Third, please obey the laws of goddamn physics. No, cars don't blow up if you shot them in the gas tank, neither when they crash they all go flying like it's the Cirque du Soleil, and most importantly... there is no sound in outer space, I know you have to make your space fighting scenes thrilling, but come on!!!
What else?, hmmm
Posted on Sunday June 21, 2009, 06:25
You know that when there is an excessive consumption of some species, there's a period of banning of the capture of the certain animal? Well, I think there should be a 10 year ban on witty one liners by action heros. It's certainly one of the most over-exploited non so renewable Movie resources, and we have a duty as a human kind to protect it form self exhaustion. And while on the matter, why don't we ban for a decade all action movies? they are all kind of the same.
In another matter, don't you realize how paradoxical is the fact that many of the cliches we might all mention will repeat themselves? Well, that's kind of obvious. Just like Hollywood... wait.
Posted on Thursday June 25, 2009, 16:57
A (male) characters grief at the loss of a loved one is always best expressed by the growth of a few days facial hair.
Posted on Thursday July 16, 2009, 15:43
People who knock on the door and when nobody answers the very second they stop knocking, they're already peering through the window or walking around the back. I mean give it at least 4 seconds before making an assumption that no one's home or thinking they're bleeding on the ground unable to answer the door.
Posted on Saturday July 25, 2009, 19:25
Want cliches? Look no further than Twister : a film completely comprised and fashioned of them. I'll list a few, cause I could be here until Doomsday compiling them all
(1) Lead Character with a troubled past, which see later must confront (helen hunt and the F5 tornado)
(2) Bad Guys dressed in black, drive black cars, yadda-yadda-yadda
(3) Bad Guys only bad cause they 'went corporate man'
(4) Ironic death for the Bad Guys
(5) 5 Dorothy machines, 4 get trashed, our last chance..........
(6) Paxton's fiance. The outsider in the mix, so there's someone to explain all the technical bullshit to for the audiences' benefit
etc etc ad nauseum
Posted on Saturday August 8, 2009, 10:47
You can not tell someone not to do something without ultimately finding out what its for. For example "don't push that button." or "don't go into that massive, dark monster ridden cave"
Also, why is it whenever someone shoots and misses the main character, the bullet always hits a metallic object causing a spark?
In Bond-Type films, why is it when a charcter is killed by the hands of our hero, it is always followed very quickly by a very inappropriate pun? The man's dead for Christ sake, show some respect!!
A cigarette has NEVER been finished!!
Evil geniuses will always hire idiot henchmen!!! WHY!!!??? obviously you have invested far to much of your money in hollowing out volcanoes and buying nuclear warheads and should have been putting it into your human resources department.
The Revolving Fireplace/Bookcase. I would love to have one of these in my house, but I've yet to find a handyman in the Yellow Pages prepared to do it.
Posted on Monday September 14, 2009, 17:55
Heres 5 classics
1.A superhero no matter how banged up will always get a surge of power & win
2.One man can beat 50 henchmen no sweat
3.The hero will always live (Except in Crank)
4.The entire English population lives in London
5.Sequels are always necessary
Posted on Wednesday September 30, 2009, 10:37
continuity in rom coms or any film with a love interest is always a problem. people seem to just fall in love in matters of days and at the end they are happily togeether... id love for once at the end it showed them 6 months down the line and they fucking hate each other...worst mistake of their lives...persay
Posted on Friday November 27, 2009, 08:50
Here's one, hello mr Bond, now i have captured you temporarily and before u inevitably make your escape i will tell you all about my plans, how to stop them and even allow you to make love to my mistress who is like 30yrs younger than me..... No WAIT HE'S ESCAPING
GUARDS FIRE AT MR BOND WHILE NEVER MANAGING TO WOUND OR KILL HIM
Posted on Friday November 27, 2009, 08:55
and the way all films with epic battle sequences have the main character doing some crappy imitation of the speech from Shakespere's Henry the 5th
"we are afraid but we fight for GLORY!!!!!!!!!
Posted on Saturday May 15, 2010, 21:28
My favorite: A character needs a car so he or she steals one. How? By smashing the window. Which one? That of the DRIVER SEAT. He or she opens the door and without even removing the shards, SITS DOWN ON THE BROKEN GLASS, STARTS THE CAR SOMEHOW, AND DRIVES OFF. Only the Terminator can do that, not mere mortals.
Gene Siskel's theory of the Fallacy of the Talking Killer, as pointed out by Roger Ebert.
And oh, yes, fxxxing 555...
Posted on Saturday May 15, 2010, 21:33
People wear suits INDOORS. Don't they ever remove their jackets?
Posted on Sunday May 16, 2010, 22:46
whenever the hero gets knocked over and attacked by the villain, the heroine/leading lady always tries to help him only to fuck it up
Posted on Monday May 17, 2010, 23:16
If a sequel is set immediately after the end of the previous film, there is little laudable continuity.
For example Rocky's son appears to age a number of years in the hours it took him to return from Russia between the fourth and fifth films.
Another is the time between Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace where Bond appears to lose half a stone, the silencer from his machine gun, and the vest of his three piece suit, and replace his Omega watch for a new model.
Posted on Sunday July 4, 2010, 03:03
Kevin Spacey as a villain/ass
Cops are either black or white
Heist/conspiracy movies almost always have 5 members of the team: a hardass leader with a difficult past, a witty second-in-command, a weapons expert, a car expert, and a young and brilliant tech geek. One of these characters must be black and one must be a woman. (prime example: The Italian Job remake.)
Fight scenes are ridiculously well-coordinated and are almost always done in a martial arts style.
Posted on Sunday July 4, 2010, 03:07
also, in cop movies, there is always a "why did you become a cop?" storytelling exchange to add something similar to depth to the characters.
Posted on Wednesday August 4, 2010, 15:33
Post number 9, Cole Trickle, is the smartest so far re Tramps. they need to make more films about tramps. Maybe call it, Tramps? Or Bums? What would happen there right, is these 2 down and outs, one older one younger find out they are father and son. And then their long lost daughter and/or sister finds them and they all find each other. Awww. Bleeeugh. Either that or they just beg change off them for purple tin/8 ace.
Posted on Wednesday August 4, 2010, 15:58
Just pissed myself at no80 Abbil's post. Seriously. I pissed myself.
It's something I always hated about Freddie K-the man a demented spacka! I mean, he roars, 'rarrrrhh', then leaps somewhere in the vicinity of his intended victim, watches as she ducks out the door, then goes 'raaaarrrhhh' again and the chase continues. If that was me I'd just kick him in the bollocks 'cos he's obviously not up to it. And I agree with Abbil; just buy a gun. If you're in America they're practically free with coco pops....
Posted on Wednesday August 4, 2010, 16:03
OOh, I realise that I'm basically posting to myself here, but I thought of a great one. 2 guys, one chasing the other, both armed. Cue a few pot shots, a few head turns, caps-a-popping. Simple solution. The guy chasing you is sprinting like a loon. Just duck round any corner, as soon as he comes flying by, blow the mother away! A simple foot out would probably suffice to be honest. Trouble is it's normally the hero doing the chasing and, well, you can see the dilemma can't you.
Is anyone out there? How long do these things stay up? This one went up over a year ago. Still, I am a late arrival to empire online and am attempting to catch up.
Posted on Thursday August 5, 2010, 19:48
They always mindlessly throw away their perfectly good drink when witnessing something kind of amazing. I mean, honestly, like nobody else would want it.
Posted on Wednesday September 15, 2010, 21:52
It seems that in the majority of horror films if the killer isn't shot in the head you just know they are going to come back (the Scream films are prime examples).
And staying on this particular topic - if the heroine (it generally is a female) shoots/stabs the killer (not in the head of course) why the hell does she drop the weapon right next to the 'dead' body, only for the killer to use when he inevitably 'comes back to life'. The amount of times this has happened in films is ridiculous. The moral of this? - unless you've shot the killer in the head NEVER EVER drop the weapon!
If a woman is being chased, having just got out of the shower and has only a towel on, she can run around the place, jump over fences etc and the towel stays in place - like that would ever happen!
You can guarantee that if the whole world comes under threat from homicidal aliens the americans will save the day
Posted on Friday January 28, 2011, 19:39
Making a rom com?
You'll want to set it in New York, right?
Oh, I know why not have a key scene at that ice rink with the christmas tree. Nobody has ever done that before.
Posted on Wednesday February 16, 2011, 18:12
It's not a movie cliche, but I had to mention it because it REALLY bugs me. In sitcoms, whenever anyone knocks at a door or rings a doorbell, someone inside the apartment will walk over and pull open the door without checking to see who it is. This never happens in real life, especially in NYC, where most sitcoms are set. The person on the other side of the door could be a murderer or rapist, or any other kind of slimeball, but this never seems to occur to the sitcom character. About the only exception I know of is "Seinfeld," where Jerry had an intercom in his apartment, and whenever anyone buzzed, he would always use it to see who was there.
(But then, sitcoms aren't supposed to mirror real life...are they?)
Posted on Wednesday February 16, 2011, 18:16
Oh, and here's another one--if someone else has already posted it, my apologies.
In World War II movies, especially older ones (pre-millennium), German and Japanese soldiers, sailors, etc. always speak perfect English, with no trace of their native accents--or else with perfect British accents.
Posted on Wednesday February 16, 2011, 18:24
Just thought of a few more--again, my apologies if already posted.
In horror/suspense movies, a woman being chased through the woods will inevitably stop and look behind her to see if her pursuer is still pursuing. (Yes, he is, stupid!) And before long, she will trip and fall to the ground, usually with a loud scream of pain and/or terror. Or else, if she is walking down the street (a deserted street, poorly lit, late at night, of course) and hears something/someone, she will stop, look around and call out, "Hello? Is someone there?" And keep walking, and when the noise continues, she will stop again and call out, "John?(or whatever her boyfriend/husband's name is) If this is a joke, it's not funny."
And has anyone noticed that in older Western movies, or action movies, during furious gun battles, no one ever runs out of ammunition?
Posted on Wednesday February 23, 2011, 13:31
In car chase films the main character will be trying to evade capture from the enemy/police/whatever so will drive away fast. When the guy chases gets close to catching him he puts his foot down again to go even faster. Why not just drive as fast as you can in the first place? Same thing happens in racing films... just drive your fastest at all times!
Posted on Sunday February 27, 2011, 10:15
These are all so funny guys!!
I watched an awful rom com last night (and rather enjoyed it but Im a simple soul) and it reminded me of a few cliche's and overused tricks..
That old practicing the big reveal speech thing: You know the deal, one character has a secret that they have been keeping, the time has come to reveal it! Camera cuts to close up of said character's face as they begin the speech "Bob, there is something I need to tell you...I am actually a man" then camera reveals that person is actually staring at themselves in the mirror as they begin to practice a number of different ways to say the same thing...sooo overused that you can spot it a mile off.
The never-mind thing: Following on from the above, the moment has come to reveal said secret and you are eager to know where the story will go once the truth is out, especially if it has been dragged out for half the movie...the character begins "I need to tell you something" and the other character says "wait, before you do, I just need to say that I think you're the most perfect woman and I think that you should never change, if you did you would break my heart blah, blah, blah", cue awkward silence then "what did you need to tell me?"...the secret keeper smiles and says "never mind"....argghhh! Honestly, its the same allll the damn time!
Thirdly, long term singletons will always be depicted as being slightly odd! So unfair!
Posted on Sunday February 27, 2011, 12:24
Here is a cliche from that most execrable of film types - the 'Indiewood' film - is a thing for banging on about how great books are. Now, we all know how great books are because we all read them all the time (funnily enough, I'm actually reading a book about Night of the Living Dead at the moment - is that at all hypocritical I wonder?). If you're going to go on about how great and wonderful they are then why didn't you write a book? It's a lot cheaper and a fuck of a lot easier than making a film. A �40 solution to a �10 question if ever I saw one.
Case in point: the exceedingly shite 'A Love Song for Bobby Long'
Also, that film yields another irritating cliche. On-screen alcoholics. They look and act nothing like the alcoholics we've all met in real life (glaring exception: 'My Name is Joe'). The guy in 'A Love Song for Bobby Long' is slightly unshaven.
That is all.
No beer gut. No beetroot, crumpled nose. He has a body most blokes (let alone most alcoholics) would love to swap for their own. On-screen alcoholics seem to have a fairly cruisey time of it. I would quite rather be him. Although, I'd hang up my literary pretensions and move away from John Travolta.
Posted on Sunday February 27, 2011, 12:31
OH! OF COURSE! How could I forget?
The lilting piano solo! All the fucking time! Just in case you didn't know you're supposed to be sad when the good guy is sad.
Christ almighty! That pisses me off something chronic!
Posted on Sunday February 27, 2011, 12:42
And the use of the word "DESTINY" in movie trailers.
So if I ever see a trailer for a bookish, 'Indiewood film' about an alcoholic, Proust scholar played by John Travolta searching for his "destiny" whilst traipsing meaningfully around the less salubrious areas of Somewhereville, USA with the added indignity of a lilting piano solo because his guru has died or something... my immediate reaction is to reach for my gun!
Posted on Sunday February 27, 2011, 13:14
This might have been done but it is endemic of recent romantic comedy films (which, somewhat irritatingly, all still do - to some extent or another - purport to be social realism): under-16s who are allowed to say "wank" and "dickhead" and "tosser" (and the like) with no consequence whatsoever from their parents.
Now, I'm 22 so maybe I'm a little out of touch with modern parenting but I seem to remember that in the not-too-distant past of the 1990s and the early 2000s, I would never have said those things in front of my parents for fear of a clip round the ear. Others I have spoken to on this issue (because it deeply concerns me) have said the same. I still have reservations about saying "fuck" in front of my Mum. When you swore when you were a kid, it was around your friends and nowhere near the adults because it was (for want of a better word) a sacred thing that you knew you weren't allowed to do. If my parents had allowed me to say what the ginger sprog from Love, Actually says in front of Liam Neeson, it would've destroyed the magic of swearing for me, I think.
Posted on Friday April 1, 2011, 21:50
when a group are all armoured up the hero / good guy never has a helmet where as the rest are all suited and booted
and he leads the group into the "situation" with his head un protected
Posted on Thursday May 26, 2011, 11:35
Just watch Avatar
Posted on Wednesday April 4, 2012, 16:12
Aha a door that's made up of 5 feet of titanium plate and controlled by the most complex security system known to man, thank goodness for...
... my small metal box with a red light and a green light. All I have to do is place the box vaguely in the vicinity of the Massive Super Computer that controls the vastly intricate lock, wait 5 seconds for the colours to change and voilá!!!
Impenetrable bank vault my arse
Posted on Saturday July 28, 2012, 21:15
The heroes parents/friend/mentor/whatever will always get shot and then act as if they were simply dying of a natural cause (Batman Begins, I'm looking at you) and they'll also say something inspiring to the hero just before they die peacefully like nothing happened (Batman Begins again)
Posted on Monday April 1, 2013, 09:32
Anyone falling into a river will always be upstream of a waterfall which they will then dramatically be washed over.
Never could work out how In Star Wars Phantom menace the submarine (after going through the inside of the planet) surfaces above a waterfall in a small river on Naboo but perhaps I am over analysing here!
Much enjoyed the article and responses thank you.
Posted on Sunday July 21, 2013, 13:39
Closing crane shot of (re)united couple involved in extended snog: so dull, unrealistic and lazy! Much better to have something like The Apartment, Accidental Tourist or, even, Some Like It Hot as a way to end a romance film.