Thursday, August 27, 2015

Movie Cliches I Hate

1. In chase scenes, all vehicles go equally fast, and only a difference in driver skill can be decisive. If the bad guy is driving a brand-new Lamborghini, and the cops are chasing him in a ratty-sounding 30-year-old van with bald tires, the cops will be right on the bad guy's ass for miles. In real life, of course, the Lamborghini would disappear from the cops' view in about 5 seconds.

1a. As if this wasn't already bad enough (and it WAS), since around the release of Point Break in 1991, cops on foot have been able to keep up with fleeing motor vehicles.

2. Roger Ebert's movie cliche column pointed out the cliche of the tough guy setting a big explosion and then walking away and not even flinching when the big explosion goes off right behind him. Ebert's column pointed out that even the unusually cliche-free Syriana featured George Clooney committing this cliche.

Since then it has occurred to me that this is not only a cliche, but it could be really dumb tough-guy behavior as well, if the tough guy wants to evade detection. Oftentimes in this cliche, the big explosion occurs in a crowded place, and big crowds of people are running around terrified in all directions after the explosion, while the tough guys never flinches. Well, if there's a street camera covering this, the tough guy screwed himself by not acting like everyone else: on the camera's footage, he'll be the one guy walking along like he didn't feel or hear anything, standing out among a crowd of panicking people. ("There he is, right there: the tough guy, walking along unconcerned." And they put out an APB with the tough guy's full description.)

3. Someone's just been shot, and his friends, and/or the responding cops, firemen, doctors and/or EMT's, act like it's completely up to him whether or not he loses consciousness, and also that if he passes out he'll die. "Nononono, stay with me, buddy! Stay with me! NOOOOOOO!!!" I don't know: If I'd just been shot and some bozo was shaking me and yelling in my face to stay with him, I might want to pass out just to get away from the shaking and yelling. But I still couldn't decide whether or not to pass out. And I still know that losing consciousness and dying are two different things.

4. I've never in my life heard someone in a real bar order "a beer." In TV and movies, maybe once or twice I've heard someone refer to a brand of beer (or at least a type of beer. For example: "You got a good IPA?"), the way people do in real life, instead of saying "Gimme a beer."

5. Very nearly everybody in movies likes their coffee black with no sugar. I suspect this annoys Quentin Tarrantino too, and that that's why his characters take theirs with a lot of cream and a lot of sugar. (They also order brands of beer like real people.)

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