Friday, August 22, 2008

12 Annoying Movie Cliches

The super-sped up cityscape

This scene requires shots of a moving and setting sun, buildings lighting up, and people zipping around

As seen in: Any movie that wants to have time pass between scenes but only has four seconds to do so

Why it's lame: We get it, lazy filmmaker. Time is elapsing, but in a super-cool-looking way! OMG! It's groundbreaking in a highly stylized way!

The "Now, what were you going to say?"

Right before a character has to confess something to someone, that person cuts him off and says something to make him feel like a guilty, royal asshole, and then says, "Now, what were you going to say?" to further dig the dagger into his side.

As seen in: Just about any chick flick

Why it's lame: Why the hell do those seven little words render the would-be confessor incapable of going through with what he was going to say? It's like verbal kryptonite. "Well, I was going to break up with you, but now you've made me feel guilty so I guess I'll just suffer silently! La dee dah!"

Ruining a huge event for selfish purposes

These scenes almost always take place during a wedding, but big speeches and presentations also suffice. Typically the point of ruining a mass public event is to confess one's love to someone.

As seen in: The Graduate, Wedding Crashers, Bubble Boy

Why it's lame: Dude, inconsiderate! It is such a dick move to ruin a huge event just to blurt out that you love someone. Worst. Timing. Ever. Plus, are we led to believe that the girl is only capable of changing her mind right before she says "I do"? There's a reason why the divorce rate is 50% in America, lady. Embrace the annulment.

The elaborate hacking-through-a-virtual-world scene

These scenes desperately want you to think that OMG HACKING LOOKS AWESOME!!! That hacker is so skilled! He can navigate through the mainframe's virtual world and find the little hidden box he needs to click on! Bravo, hacker. Bravo.

As seen in: Antitrust, Jurassic Park, Swordfish, Hackers

Why it's lame: This is what real hacking is like: Type type type. Type type. Type. It's a bunch of lines of code, and it's a terribly uninspiring interface. Visual interfaces are for old ladies who need to drag and drop a ginormous image of their dog Muffins to a folder. They're not used by any remotely good hacker. But since realistic hacking is too boring by Hollywood standards, we're subjected to faux-cool "virtual" hacking. Bleh.

The just-in-time bomb disabling

In this scene, the protagonist finds the bomb while it's ticking down its last minute to detonation, and he always cuts the wire and disables the bomb with exactly one second left on the timer, even though you're watching about ten minutes pass between him finding the bomb and disabling it.

As seen in: Speed, Die Hard III, Blown Away

Why it's lame: Can't anyone disable a bomb with ample time left nowadays? Is that just a lost art, like shoe cobbling?

Subduing the killer and promptly running away instead of repeatedly kicking his face in

Congratulations, you've just knocked out the axe-wielding maniac who's been chasing you for the past hour! Now it's time to finish him off by...running away?

As seen in: Any slasher film ever made

Why it's lame: He's incapacitated! Finish him off with a couple of Jersey stomps to the face! Why the hell would you want to run away and hide under a desk instead of kicking the killer's face into an indistinguishable mush?

Post-sex modesty

Mmmm, that sex sure was nasty. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to walk to the bathroom with the entire sheet wrapped around me like a burqa.

As seen in: any PG-13 movie that can't show T&A

Why it's lame: It's a strangely modest move to drape yourself in sex and fluids-soaked bedsheet, considering you just, you know, had sex. If the movie were realistic, the girl would hop out of bed and stroll to the bathroom bare-assed and sporting JBF hair.

Post-sex amnesia

This scene usually involves getting drunk, sleeping with someone, and then waking up the next morning and being utterly shocked, confused, and surprised that you slept with that person.

As seen in: Any movie where the guy gets into an argument with his girlfriend and then gets drunk and flirts with another girl at the bar, and then the scene cuts to the next morning where the ringing phone wakes the guy up, and it's his girlfriend calling to say that she loves him, and then he looks over next to him and sees the girl he picked up the night before naked and sleeping and he's like "Whaaaaa???!!"

Why it's lame: Roofies aside, how can you wake up having completely forgotten that you brought a girl home and sexed her up?

The "spontaneous" yet clearly choreographed mass dance sequence

Hey, this song is catchy! Oh, you think so, too? And so do the other thirty people in this room? Well, let's start dancing to it! Hey, you're moving to the left, too! And now to the right! Now a turn and a backflip! Wow, how do we all know the exact same moves?

As seen in: She's All That, A Knight's Tale, 13 Going on 30 ("Mattie! It's Thriller" has to be one of the stupidest lines in movie history, by the way)

Why it's lame: Must I really go into detail as to why this is completely and utterly idiotic?

The "clever" post-kill line

No action movie is complete without the requisite "clever" line to allude to the fact that you killed and/ordisposed of the bad guy.

As seen in:
Running Man ("He had to split"), Total Recall ("Consider that a divorce"), Batman & Robin ("Ice to meet you"), Eraser ("You're luggage")...come to think of it, pretty much any Schwarzenegger movie is an excellent example.

Why it's lame: Can't you just say "Yeah, I killed him. He's like, totally dead"? Why the cheeky allusions? They're not funny or clever. Just painful. Really, really painful.

Trying to win the girl away from her douchebag boyfriend

Here's how this cliche usually plays out: The main character is competing with some douchebag boyfriend for the girl of his dreams. Dream Girl doesn't know that her boyfriend is a douchebag, though, because somehow she's oblivious to his douchy ways. (He usually turns on the charm when she's around and commences douchiness when she leaves. He's sneaky, that douchebag.) Then, Douchebag Boyfriend makes the protagonist look like a prick and Dream Girl thinks the good guy is a jerk, only to find out at the end of the movie that her boyfriend was the douchebag all along. Protagonist gets the girl, happy times for all.

As seen in: Old School, Wedding Crashers, Just One of the Guys

Why it's lame: Can we have a fresh story arc for a change? What if the girl likes dating douchebags? Or maybe the guy she ends up picking in the end turns out to be a bigger douchebag than her old boyfriend? Maybe the girl becomes a nun and swears off all men for the rest of her life? I'm just saying that a change of pace would be nice.

The hand-wave motion

This scene consists of the character sticking her arm out the car window and moving her hand in that stupid wave motion

As seen in: Virtually every movie with a cross-country road trip scene

Why it's lame: This motion screams "Look how free-spirited I am! Even though we're driving down Route 66, I feel like I'm flying! I always want to feel this free!" Ugh. We get it. You're a hippy and you're so free-spirited that you make the same stupid wave motion as everyone else in a movie with a road trip.