A Conversation for Famous Film Quotes

Cliche Film Situations

Post 21

Lupa Mirabilis, Serious Inquisitor

I think what's-her-name from She's All That was quoted as saying "Hollywood's definition of an unattractive person is an attractive person with glasses."


Cliche Film Situations

Post 22

Freedom

The exception from this rule would have to be Independence Day, where the guy actually uses a PowerBook. I can't remember seeing any of the software he uses ever before though.

Has anyone ever seen Windows in a movie?


Cliche Film Situations

Post 23

Lupa Mirabilis, Serious Inquisitor

Yes, a PowerBook with some program set up that shows huge flashing numerals counting down to the alien attack. Riiiiiight.


Cliche Film Situations

Post 24

Freedom

And later, the program that handles the uploading of the virus to the alien mothership (I wonder what protocol he's using) that displays a bunch of black & white lines moving about, like a graphical representation of all that digital information...or something. I absolutely love that one. I want an FTP client that can do that. smiley - smiley


Cliche Film Situations

Post 25

Spartus

Dammit, I think I *did* see Windows in a movie, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Grrr...

Anyway, Spielberg movies always, always, *always* have children in them*. If it's not centered around a child, there's a brief scene with a child that is pivotal to the movie (eg. Saving Private Ryan, and to a different extent, Schindler's List).

*I haven't actually seen Amistad, so it's not an absolute, but, well, prove me wrong if you have to. smiley - winkeye


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 26

Mat

This basically interprets as the chance a character has of making it through a movie alive is inversely proportional to the severity of their situation, operation etc.
For example:

If a character goes in to hospital for a routine operation = dead by the second act.

The little kid undergoing the million-to-one-shot-never-been-done before-operation-on-an-airplane-with-only-one-engine-by-a-doctor-whose-vision-keeps-fading-due-to-a-crisis-of-faith = giving mummy a big hug by the credits.

This rule applies to any movie situation you care to name.

I'm also working on a name for the following types of movie rule:
Rope has a tendancy to fray except the last strand which has 10000 pound breaking strain.
Petrol has a built in timer and will only ignite after it has expired.
Dogs and cats are invunerable to all forms of natural disaster.
Guns can sense evil and will jam in its presence.


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 27

Drool Frood the Second

What about tumble weed?
In most Westerns there is always a scene when some tumbleweed goes by
or some chickens fly out of nowhere.
You can almost imagine the props guys in the back ground saying "Go on
Fred sling some more of them chickens in!!!"


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 28

Drool Frood the Second

One of my other favorites is in a series called Mike Hammer.
No matter what this guy did he NEVER lost his hat.It was as though it was glued to his head.He could be in a force 9 gale and it wouldn't come off!!!


Cliche Film Situations

Post 29

Mat

You've reminded me of that classic quote

'I know this, its a unix system' - Jurassic park

And did it look like any unix system you've ever used? Did it hell.

And what about the way when, a movie character gets email, it is always represented onscreen by an elaborate animation of a letter being opened and unfolded.


Cliche Film Situations

Post 30

Mat

I love that bit in ID4
'Uploading to alien host'

Another example of the movie maxim whereby computers are the cure all panacea which only require a little bit of programming to do anything.
Or they are evil and intelligent and will wipe us all out in the end.


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 31

SPINY (aka Ship's Cook)

LOL Mat. smiley - smiley

We're cooking with gas on these!

How about "Cliche Plot Devices" for those rules you describe, Mat? You might might like my article on The Laws of Cartoon Physics, since you seem to have the same cynical eye for these things as I do. Sorry, I don't know how to put a link in, but it's a submitted article on my home page and I'd welcome input.

I liked Mike Hammer a lot as well, but haven't seen the series for a while. It was nearly up there with Police Squad (in Color).


Cliche Film Situations

Post 32

DelphicOracle

And when they do get mail, it's always from a psycho who's stalking them, (or maybe the love of their lives if Meg Ryan is in the film) but it's never just their mate sending them the 47th boring joke of the day. And frequently, all it takes to collect email in movies is to just walk past a computer. It doesn't have to be your own, any one in the world will do - your mail will just magically know where to find you!

Speaking of computer systems, IBM obviously have or had a big product placement deal with the Bond movie people. If you watch Goldeneye, everyone but everyone is using OS2/Warp. How "realistic"...


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 33

Mat

Hi Spiny!
Liked the cartoon physics. Will comment when I think of something appropriate. Police Squad (In color) was great! especially the 'freeze frame' bit at the end.

There is IMHO one main rule for cliche plot devices:

If any device, process or painfull way of dying is in any way explained to the viewer expect to see it being used in the last scene.

For example
'Oh this? Its just an industrial nail gun that I hired because I needed to put a picture up'

'I'll just balance this jar of acid here for safe keeping'

'Don't press that button! That activates my new invention, a brand new way of mutilating people'


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 34

DelphicOracle

True enough. In fact, according to the Casualty Plotline Theory, said object doesn't even need to be a weapon or a obviously "dangerous" item. Any object, no matter how harmless looking, that gets a lingering close-up is bound to be a mankiller...

"What an attractive rug, Brenda. It goes so well with your highly polished, incredibly slippery parquet floor..."


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 35

Mrs V

Because i think we're winning and I'm about to kill you anyway, seeing as I've got you pinned by the neck with my here sword/gun/laser/light sabre thingy (made a point of avoiding starwars my whole life) I'm going to explain to you why I'm involved in this evil plot and how I managed to blow up the president (or something) OOPS, you just manged to over power me, and you've got it all on tape?? Oh Bugger.


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 36

SPINY (aka Ship's Cook)

Blow up the President? Hey, you have lousy afternoon in the Oval Room and suddenly you're in all the papers!

Monica.


Back to Cliche Film Situations

Post 37

Orcus

Nobody seems to have mentioned the classic horror film cliche. If you're going to kill a vampire by putting a stake through its heart, you must go to the graveyard/cellar at exactly 11.59pm or just as dusk is starting. Never seen one yet where they sensibly wait until the daylight hours.

Also, in a dire situation involving the USA, the president will invariably be surrounded by a bunch of generals and one scientist. The scientist tells the president his hunch which is always borne out as the truth in the end but is always overruled by one particularly gung-ho general saying something like, "nuke the bastards now Mr. President!"


Back to Cliche Film Situations

Post 38

Mrs V

Classic Horror film Cliche 2, don't open the cupboard... or go upstairs after that strange noise...
Oh and the cute little Kid is either Evil, or doesn't get killed, depending on the genre of course...


The Inverse rule of situation survivability

Post 39

Dinsdale Piranha

The ultimate non-survivable situation is being the bloke in the red top whom you've never seen before, but is about to beam down to the surface with Kirk, Bones and Spock


Back to Cliche Film Situations

Post 40

SPINY (aka Ship's Cook)

In any sequence involving driving a car very fast, the action will always cut between shots of a speedometer and an accelerator pedal. No matter how fast the driver wants the car to go, they never seem to have the wit to push the accelerator to the floor, because every time we see the shot of the foot, there's always a couple of inches more the pedal can be pushed. If as a result of excess speed the car is about to crash, the driver will put their hands up in front of their face, presumably imagining this will protect them. But since these cars don't have dashboards, or indeed anything in front of the driver, protection is scant anyway.


Key: Complain about this post