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Thread: Movie Clichés That Get On Your Nerves

  1. #3991
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    That bugged me too. I was the one the did the reloading for our competitions when I was 9. There was a time when I was amazed to find anyone actually bought loaded rounds. Everyone we knew loaded their own.

    My dad has a progressive loader for .45 auto that can turn out about 50 rounds a minute. I don't think I could pass by a .45 case an not be tempted to pick it up. It's a reflex.

    My dad also cast his own bullets, and made his own jacketed bullets. We've got a few wildcat cartridges in the basement that don't exist anywhere else. For those, you even have to make the cases out of other things.

    The GF still picks up wheel weights for her dad's casting projects and he died 18 months ago.
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    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  2. #3992
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    On the subject of guns, but not really a cliche, the last episode of "Elementary" kind of bugged me with the insinuations that reloading ammo was both relatively rare and somewhat sketchy.
    As an outsider with no personal stake in the subject one way or the other, I saw it depicted not as rare or "sketchy", but as just not the usual routine and outside the knowledge or experience of people who don't make a point of studying or getting involved in such things. But I can see how, if I were more into guns myself, it would be easy to start seeing things as anti-gun or anti-gun-owner, given how often things really are exactly that in our culture.

    The more interesting thing in that episode for me was a brief "Watson catching Holmes being intellectually eccentric again" interlude having nothing to do with the plot. Watson walked in on Holmes sitting at a big table almost covered with copies of pages of the Voynich Manuscript and books lying open, except for a turtle in the middle of the table eating some lettuce…

    WATSON: What’s going on in here?
    HOLMES: I had some time so I thought I’d revisit a mystery that has always vexed me: the true meaning of the Voynich Manuscript.
    WATSON: What language is this?
    HOLMES: Unknown, as are the species of plants that the author drew so meticulously at the dawn of the fifteenth century. Some people believe that the book is extraterrestrial in its origin. I am not one of them.
    WATSON: And Clyde is helping?
    HOLMES: Not really.

    Then they changed to a subject that was actually related to the plot.

    It stood out to me because a big hobby of mine lately has been developing the Voynich Manuscript's phonetic system using words for things whose names tend to be similar across multiple languages, like with the names of royalty and places on the Rosetta Stone, only this time it's plants and stars/constellations. A linguistics professor got the ball rolling early last year with about a half-dozen words and half of the alphabet, and set up a website about it for others to contribute to. Following up with his original method, I've expanded it to somewhere around 80 words, essentially all of the letters, a handful of secondary rules about how some of the letters are used, and a few indicators about the nature of the spoken language that should help with eventual language identification (after which can finally come translation). I'm sure it will be totally figured out relatively soon, but, since outsiders generally have little awareness that any progress has been made at all, I wonder how long after that it will take before people are generally aware that it's been solved.

    So maybe, for a while, "acting as if the Voynich Manuscript were still a mystery" will be one of those annoying clichés...
    Last edited by Delvo; 2015-Apr-27 at 02:10 AM.

  3. #3993
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    As an outsider with no personal stake in the subject one way or the other, I saw it depicted not as rare or "sketchy", but as just not the usual routine and outside the knowledge or experience of people who don't make a point of studying or getting involved in such things. But I can see how, if I were more into guns myself, it would be easy to start seeing things as anti-gun or anti-gun-owner, given how often things really are exactly that in our culture.
    Watson: This is crazy. I had no idea that reusing casings was such a thing.
    Holmes: Never underestimate mankind's passion for rendering the tools of violence and mayhem.

    "Crazy"? "Tools of violence and mayhem"? Definitely anti-gun.

  4. #3994
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    Body slamming bolts, the sort of thing where the villain simply wipes the walls with the hero. It is supposed to be a display of power, but never really does anything permanent to the hero. Since most people with this power don't recoil away from the victim, I would totally accept the idea that the force generated somehow envelopes the victim before picking them up and slamming them.

    Of course this creates the problem of having a bad guy refuse to kill people horribly because they hold back. Some villains should hold back, but most guys with this superpower are usually using it to show how cruel and unusual they are.

    Oddly, you would think that Star Wars would be an offender, but the characters either lack enough power to slam someone or are clearly toying with people. Darth Maul seems to have the ability to "Force Nose Tweak", as opposed to out and out slamming people.
    Solfe

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    I understand the whole "it's personal" convention and that, as one of my "how to write a mystery story" books put it, giving the hero a motive other than simple curiosity makes for a stronger and more dramatic story, but the whole "scientist X is motivated in their study of this field because it somehow relates to the death of a loved one" trope kind of annoys me. Now, the three most prominent examples (Twister, Dante's Peak and Contact) are all movies I really love, (and the second of them takes a lot of thematic inspiration from the first in general), but I kind of wish a hero just being a scientist because they find the subject interesting and the problems worth solving could be motivation enough. (Especially in the first two-- it's not enough that a person just wants to save lives, they have to have also personally had a loved one lose theirs?)

  6. #3996
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    According to Peter, Paul and Mary, you have to have pathos. Otherwise the story is out of balance and lacks interest.
    In other words, you always need a good villian.

  7. #3997
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    According to Peter, Paul and Mary, you have to have pathos. Otherwise the story is out of balance and lacks interest.
    In other words, you always need a good villian.
    A hero can struggle against a villain (or a force of nature in Man vs. Nature conflicts) and that villain or force can be built up as dramatically threatening without having it have killed the hero's loved one in the past. At the very least, they might start the story motivated by interest and a simple desire to help and lose their loved one in the course of the movie's present-day action and thus still have an "it's personal" moment without a death being their whole motivation to study the field.

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    Last edited by Extravoice; 2015-Apr-28 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Added link, and fixed smiley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I understand the whole "it's personal" convention and that, as one of my "how to write a mystery story" books put it, giving the hero a motive other than simple curiosity makes for a stronger and more dramatic story, but the whole "scientist X is motivated in their study of this field because it somehow relates to the death of a loved one" trope kind of annoys me. Now, the three most prominent examples (Twister, Dante's Peak and Contact) are all movies I really love, (and the second of them takes a lot of thematic inspiration from the first in general), but I kind of wish a hero just being a scientist because they find the subject interesting and the problems worth solving could be motivation enough. (Especially in the first two-- it's not enough that a person just wants to save lives, they have to have also personally had a loved one lose theirs?)
    It's kind of necessary, unfortunately. Curiosity turning into a life's work isn't relateable to people who don't share similar motivations, aka: people entertained by hollywood movies about people who do stuff, rather than themselves striving to do stuff. It's part of the reason why so many people assume scientists are in it for the money/corruption/prolonging the disease. They can relate to greed, pride, rage, and/or loss much more easily than curiosity.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
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    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  10. #4000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post

    Yes, but then this happens:

    Inigo Montoya: Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.
    Westley: Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts.
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  11. #4001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    It's kind of necessary, unfortunately. Curiosity turning into a life's work isn't relateable to people who don't share similar motivations, aka: people entertained by hollywood movies about people who do stuff, rather than themselves striving to do stuff. It's part of the reason why so many people assume scientists are in it for the money/corruption/prolonging the disease. They can relate to greed, pride, rage, and/or loss much more easily than curiosity.
    I'd also note that Dante's Peak doesn't quite fit the trope. He was already a vulcanologist before it became personal; he just kept going afterward.
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  12. #4002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I'd also note that Dante's Peak doesn't quite fit the trope. He was already a vulcanologist before it became personal; he just kept going afterward.
    D'oy, how did I forget that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    D'oy, how did I forget that?
    Because you're not an elephant.

    Oh wait, that's another thread!
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  14. #4004
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    In the monster movies, before the guys from the army try to kill it, some scientist is always saying "don't! We need it alive to study!" While the scientist may be overly enamoured rapid urban renewal, and you do want the body (more-or-less) intact, but it's easier to dissect if it's dead.

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  15. #4005
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    Yep, that one is a template for B movies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    In the monster movies, before the guys from the army try to kill it, some scientist is always saying "don't! We need it alive to study!" While the scientist may be overly enamoured rapid urban renewal, and you do want the body (more-or-less) intact, but it's easier to dissect if it's dead.
    Well, that is true, depending on what the scientists want to know.

    You're not going to get great insights into behavior from a corpse. Presumably the creature doesn't exist to destroy cities, so what else does it do?

  17. #4007
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Well, that is true, depending on what the scientists want to know.

    You're not going to get great insights into behavior from a corpse. Presumably the creature doesn't exist to destroy cities, so what else does it do?
    I do agree that it's unlikely for an animal to evolve to destroy cities (we could go with alien genetic engineering, and I think that story has been done often enough), so very active urban renewal is probably aberrant behavior; it's also unlikely for a single animal to evolve to be big enough to destroy a city, except in an environment heavily saturated in phlebotinum.

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  18. #4008
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    There's a 1970 horror film. Trog, which stars Joan Crawford as a behavioral scientist who is dealing with a prehistoric missing-link that has turned up. As the creature is strong, and violent when provoked, there's a debate as to what to do with him.

    Dr. Joan wants to study him and learn from him. The film's villain, played by the eternally-sour Michael Gough has the line: "Kill it and study the hide!"

  19. #4009
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    Trog was apparently a horrible film with a 20% rating on Rottentomatoes .com

    Interestingly, many reviewers say that while the movie itself was awful, Joan Crawford's performance was quite professional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    There's a 1970 horror film. Trog, which stars Joan Crawford as a behavioral scientist who is dealing with a prehistoric missing-link that has turned up. As the creature is strong, and violent when provoked, there's a debate as to what to do with him.

    Dr. Joan wants to study him and learn from him. The film's villain, played by the eternally-sour Michael Gough has the line: "Kill it and study the hide!"
    I know I'd laugh watching it now, but I saw it in the theatre way back when and it scared the h.e double hockey sticks out of me.

  21. #4011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Trog was apparently a horrible film with a 20% rating on Rottentomatoes .com

    Interestingly, many reviewers say that while the movie itself was awful, Joan Crawford's performance was quite professional.
    Probably it was, if you like Joan Crawford. She was never the sort to give a bad performance just because it was a bad movie. Though some of the stories from the set of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? are not so professional as all that.
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    Security systems that were designed by morons. Examples? Most heist movies that have been made in the last 40 years, the Mission Impossible movies and tales in that mold, countless TV . . .

    The flip side are morons that don't use security systems when clearly they should, e.g. Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth in Gotham. Seriously, how many times do villains have to slip into Wayne Manor and nearly kill them before they get a clue?

  23. #4013
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    Just found this list which addresses a point that we discussed years ago ( https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...78#post1538578 )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=WdOLwVJ5Jjc

    7 Times John Wayne Got Killed In A Movie



    (The bad guys should have used more squids against him!)

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    The End (or is it?)

    Gah! Hate hate hate.

    This is largely a big spoiler for something recent ...

    Spoiler: (Highlight this box to see the hidden message.)


    Just finished watching a Netflix Animated series called "The Hollow". Target audience is clearly a few years younger than me, but I liked the style of the settings of the early episodes, and needed something light to fill in a few moments.

    The big plot thing is that these kids "wake up" in a weird land, and they find they have "powers". Eventually they figure out they are in a sort of virtual reality video game. One of clues is that they start seeing more and more "glitches". Objects start appearing/disappearing, and pixelating and such.

    The final episode ends with a transition (when they "win") from animation to live action. And we see the three kids, on recumbent chairs, emerge from their head-set things, in front of a live studio audience. Also emerging are the three kids of the opposition team they met in the game.

    And one of the members of the opposition team gives a smirk to one of the members of the team we've been watching, and he sees her eye glitch like the graphics inside the game.

    Gah!

    So is the game over or not? Are we actually now in a game inside a game? Are we now "in" reality or not? I find this frustrating!



    Just let the show end! If there's a plan for sequel series - let the "surprise twist" be the start of the next series, not the end of this one!

    These kinds of endings generally make the whole thing pointless to me, as they pretty much negate everything learned in the show or movie. On a par (ironically, given the VR component of this one) with "and then I woke up and it was all a dream".

    Phooey!
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  25. #4015
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    Oh, and, I'm sure this has been covered but I've been watching a lot of Star Trek lately:

    Computer controlled doors where the security can be overridden by shooting the control panel.

    Clearly security designed to prevent stealthy or opportunistic attacks, but not much use against any real enemy.
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  26. #4016
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Computer controlled doors where the security can be overridden by shooting the control panel.
    I wonder if some cliches become so cliche that they "wrap around" to become tongue-in-cheek amusing.

    You can almost hear the security with the phaser muttering "...works every time!"

    Although, likely not ST; it takes itself too seriously.
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 2018-Jul-08 at 03:25 AM.

  27. #4017
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post

    Just let the show end! If there's a plan for sequel series - let the "surprise twist" be the start of the next series, not the end of this one!

    These kinds of endings generally make the whole thing pointless to me, as they pretty much negate everything learned in the show or movie. On a par (ironically, given the VR component of this one) with "and then I woke up and it was all a dream".
    That would be a film. That has a distinct end to the story. People who like endings watch films.

    A series, by nature, is supposed to be "the continuing adventures of ..."

  28. #4018
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    That would be a film. That has a distinct end to the story. People who like endings watch films.

    A series, by nature, is supposed to be "the continuing adventures of ..."
    Yeah, but the last episode of a series, for which there's no certainty there'll be a second series?

    To me this is different than a cliffhanger ending, where you see the story isn't quite done yet, but at least it's not negating what went on before.
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    I love Daredevil as a comic book and the translation to Netflix is pretty good. However, they are leaning on the violence wall pretty hard. Daredevil won't kill people, but he beats criminals down and leaves them for the police. Apparently, no one ever dies from a good beat down and the police are amazing at finding people in abandon buildings and back alleys. Both sort of push the edge of credibility. One redeeming feature is the show does show hospitals in panic mode as all this violence creates a lot of work. One of the main characters did kill someone and half a season later, it is still not "ok". It's odd and interesting because that character has zero chance of being outed as a murderer but even they are not good with what they did. Friends and family probably won't be very supportive if and when it comes to light. I'm late to the series, so I have no idea if this ever comes to light.

    It seems like this version of Daredevil has a very weak healing factor and might not feel much pain. There is an episode where he takes aspirin and Tylenol for some really horrific injuries. Apparently, in light of a real life epidemic of drug addiction, Netflix Daredevil doesn't chew narcotics on a daily basis like the Ben Affleck movie version did. Probably a good idea.

    The Arrow pretty much has the same trope going on, but they don't handle the whole not killing people as well. On the one hand, sometimes people just die from their injuries, which is very different than Daredevil. It doesn't seem to be "ok", but the characters roll with collateral damage a lot easier. I forget what season I stopped watching, but it was the one where several heroes started using guns which had a general inability to kill people. I didn't wait around for the explanation. It was obvious that some sort of explanation was coming, but it was such an odd twist that I couldn't stick it out to see what it was going to be. It seemed that one guy was simply shooting people to death and a second character had some sort of magic bullet that was designed to knock people out.

    Credibility failure. Which is a shame because I really like many of the characters. What is so interesting is that they made the attempt to run normal people along side superheroes and then try to work out the moral issues. The result is highly variable, but for the most part is interesting in fits and starts.

    As far as cliffhangers and continuing adventures go, I like that Doctor Who has ended more than a few seasons by completely closing out the prior series. The characters are generally strong enough to start a new adventure which has nothing to do with the last. One of the better moments was the addition of Nardole. He just appears and sticks around. Eventually they got around to explaining his presence. That was nice.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Yeah, but the last episode of a series, for which there's no certainty there'll be a second series?
    Yes.

    I think their obligation is to their fans, and optimism, not to pessimistically hedging their bets.

    Imagine if the season finale literally had a placard at the end that said "Well, hope you enjoyed this - and we wrapped it up nicely - because we don't know if we'll be back. And we don't know if you'll be back either." That has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.


    But assuming a story will remain popular is an American habit.

    You might appreciate British series more. My wife does. They have a fixed length, with a smoothly-curved story arc, resulting in a definite ending.
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 2018-Jul-08 at 04:29 AM.

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