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    #26
    Movie/TV clichés

    Amor de Cosmos wrote:
    Originally posted by Reed John
    Romantic comedies are an interesting form. The audience knows how it will end within the first few minutes of the film - what's funny, or not, and enjoyable, or not, is seeing how they get there. They're usually crap, but not always.
    That applies to most 19th Century fiction too.
    Is it? I guess I haven't read a representative sample. I didn't know how Wuthering Heights was going to end. I didn't really care. I was 16 when I read it.

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      #27
      Movie/TV clichés

      This one is almost too obvious to mention.
      The unflinching walk.


      Cool guys don't look at explosions


      Well parodied in the grossly underrated The Other Guys, a great, great funny movie.

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        #28
        Movie/TV clichés

        This one happens at a films climax: Baddie has good guy #1 held at gunpoint and is about to kill him. You hear a gunshot and you're tricked into thinking for a split second that baddie has killed good guy #1. But no! Baddie slumps to the floor dying rather than gg#1. Then the camera pans to good guy #2 (who we haven't seen for the past 10 minutes of the movie) who we now know shot baddie in the back just in time to save his compadre. Hooray!


        Not forgetting the distant cousin of that cliche, the sound of a gun firing followed by the 'oh, nobody got hurt' moment, swiftly followed by the 'oh, somebody did, but they're just standing there acting as if they haven't until they seen that big patch of blood spreading across their t-shirt, never mind that in reality the force of the gunshot probably may have propelled them a bit farther back than where they were previously' moment.

        While we're at it, the old standby, the failure of other people in one room to hear what's going on in another, even though both are so close they can't really have any excuse not to. The original, hugely entertaining Fright Night is an example. Mum's asleep in her bedroom while her son, convinced a malevolent vampire has moved into the house next door, is being given a monumental slapping in his own bedroom across the hall by said bloodsucker, in an orgy of eardrum-busting crashing and thumping that people in Sweden could hear.

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          #29
          Movie/TV clichés

          Reservoir Dogs. Blokes in suits with Little Green Bag playing. I think the commentary team from the snooker did it one year.

          Also, the general "opening credits" parody. There's one on at the moment. Starring.... Car Insurance!

          There was a version on some daytime antiques show or similar. It included stills when the blokes who did the vases and old coins came on.

          Comment


            #30
            Movie/TV clichés

            A person or persons one would normally associate with something staid doing all wacky stuff like song & dance routines.
            For charidee.
            Look! Normally they are all po-faced reading the news & that but now they are doing show tunes. This confounds my pre-conceptions! Ha ha, how amusing & all for a good cause.

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              #31
              Movie/TV clichés

              Timed bombs always ticking down to 1 second before the wire is cut.

              If someone coughs at any point during the film, they'll end dying of a fatal disease before the end. It's never just a tickly cough that Benadol can fix.

              The estranged father turning up at the end of the film to witness his son's sporting/theatrical triumph, before nodding approvingly.

              If the hero is given a gift and puts it in his inside pocket, the gift will end up stopping a bullet to his heart during the finale.

              Packed out bars/clubs with about two people serving (sometimes doing stupid cocktail tricks), yet the entire clientele has a beer in their hand and look happy, rather than queueing up for a drink, bored out of their skull and wishing they'd just popped down the local instead.

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                #32
                Movie/TV clichés

                I forget what movie or TV show it was, but it was surprising recently to see a respected director use the old warhorse of a character's sitting bolt upright when waking from a nightmare. I usually just lie there quietly and maybe curl up a bit, as if trying to make myself inconspicuous from the bad thing in the dream. Isn't there some way to convey that on film?

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                  #33
                  Movie/TV clichés

                  Everyone's dreams in films are remarkably lucid and coherent. Which isn't true in reality at all.

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                    #34
                    Movie/TV clichés

                    Scenes set in clubs. Not exactly a cliche- they always feel too tired for that.

                    It says something that the best two I've ever seen were in Bergerac and Inspector Morse.

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                      #35
                      Movie/TV clichés

                      In action thrillers where the hero is innocuously introduced to/given a new gadget or piece of equipment you can be certain it will reappear at the end of the movie as a handy deus ex machina to defeat the villain or enable a seemingly impossible escape from death (cf. The Dark Knight).

                      Roger Ebert maintains a pretty comprehensive glossary of this kind of thing.

                      Comment


                        #36
                        Movie/TV clichés

                        Regarding maverick cops, is there really any alternative, from a screenwriting perspective?

                        The only one I can think of is police procedurals, but that's something you can probably only pull off over a TV series rather than in 90 minutes.

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                          #37
                          Movie/TV clichés

                          Apart from Swallow, the Norfolk detective with a special interest in graffiti.

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                            #38
                            Movie/TV clichés

                            The entire "One last..." cannon makes my teeth ache. One last mission, heist, rescue, deflection of asteroid heading toward earth, etc. Usually preceded by a guy going about introspective busy work in some rural location, interrupted by another guy who tells him 'they want you' after being asked 'how did you find me'?

                            They should do a prequel where they bring the 'go find so-and-so for one last mission' guy out of retirement to find one last retired guy. "How did you find me?" "Well, the same way you find hard-to-find people. We follow their pension cheques." "Oh...right..."

                            Comment


                              #39
                              Movie/TV clichés

                              Re. night clubs in films, how come people can hold conversations in them without having to bellow in each other's ears?

                              Comment


                                #40
                                Movie/TV clichés

                                REAL LIFE: you work a manual job, e.g. packing crates, putting carcasses on hooks at an abbatoir, and the police arrive to interview you about a crime. You go to the staff room, or somewhere else quiet, to answer their questions.

                                MOVIE/TV: you work a manual job, e.g. packing crates, putting carcasses on hooks at an abbatoir, and the police arrive to interview you about a crime. You continue carrying out your work, in fact become more aggressive about it and they have to scuttle behind you to keep up. You bark out answers angrily, exuding an air of impatience and paranoia.

                                Movie heroines: in the final scene, when you clout the psycho round the head with a handy table lamp or statuette, and he crashes to the floor with blood gushing from his temple, DON'T turn round, sigh, slump against the wall in relief and drop your weapon. You know FUCKING WELL he is about to lurch to his feet again with a hidden, maniacal power. Actually no, it's fine, because you know the hero is about to burst in at the far end with a revolver and finish the baddie off properly.

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                                  #41
                                  Movie/TV clichés

                                  The hero/heroine of the story will have a family of children. These will turn out to be snotty, clever-dicky or interminably bolshie, whatever - they will be the most annoying little turds you've ever seen.

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                                    #42
                                    Movie/TV clichés

                                    ian.64 wrote: The hero/heroine of the story will have a family of children. These will turn out to be snotty, clever-dicky or interminably bolshie, whatever - they will be the most annoying little turds you've ever seen.
                                    But they will still gather round Mom/Pop for a warm hug at the safe conclusion of the drama.

                                    Comment


                                      #43
                                      Movie/TV clichés

                                      Where journalists are involved, there will usually be one wide-eyed, idealistic young cadet. Their outlook will be tempered by the hard-bitten hack who is assigned as their mentor (reluctantly).

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                                        #44
                                        Movie/TV clichés

                                        Anytime anyone's addressing a crowd through a P.A. system there's invariably always a quick trill of 1kHz feedback followed by cavernous stadium reverb on the vocal, even in small enclosed spaces, for an authenticity that doesn't really exist.

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                                          #45
                                          Movie/TV clichés

                                          stonelephant wrote: Where journalists are involved, there will usually be one wide-eyed, idealistic young cadet. Their outlook will be tempered by the hard-bitten hack who is assigned as their mentor (reluctantly).
                                          Yes. You see the same sort of rookie partnered with grizzled vet dynamic in cop shows all the time.


                                          Which leads me to another cliche: the baddie with foreign (non American) accent.

                                          The go to bad guy accents are English and Russian.

                                          Comment


                                            #46
                                            Movie/TV clichés

                                            stonelephant wrote: Where journalists are involved, there will usually be one wide-eyed, idealistic young cadet. Their outlook will be tempered by the hard-bitten hack who is assigned as their mentor (reluctantly).
                                            There's some reality to that.

                                            Comment


                                              #47
                                              Movie/TV clichés

                                              El Tel wrote: Which leads me to another cliche: the baddie with foreign (non American) accent.

                                              The go to bad guy accents are English and Russian.
                                              German was always the go-to baddie accent from World War II to around 1989 or so, for fairly obvious reasons, but at some point it seems to have died out, or am I not remembering? The last one I remember well is Hans Gruber in Die Hard:

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                                                #48
                                                Movie/TV clichés

                                                stonelephant wrote: REAL LIFE: you work a manual job, e.g. packing crates, putting carcasses on hooks at an abbatoir, and the police arrive to interview you about a crime. You go to the staff room, or somewhere else quiet, to answer their questions.

                                                MOVIE/TV: you work a manual job, e.g. packing crates, putting carcasses on hooks at an abbatoir, and the police arrive to interview you about a crime. You continue carrying out your work, in fact become more aggressive about it and they have to scuttle behind you to keep up. You bark out answers angrily, exuding an air of impatience and paranoia.
                                                This is straight out of the Law & Order catalogue. Page 5.

                                                Right beside "Deus Ex Machina Landlady/Dry Cleaner/Window Washer". After stumbling around for ten minutes finding dead ends, they encounter the landlady. As she's letting them into the suspect/dead woman's apartment, she casually mentions "no, she wasn't dating anyone that I know of. But there was a tall man, with a scar on his left cheek, about six months ago. Russian, I think. He had an overseas business that was in trouble, and a sister living upstate in a small town. Morrisburg, I think, who'd lost her job when the mill closed down."

                                                Morrisburg huh? Do you have an address for her?

                                                "Oh, no. I only saw him the one time, for just a second. And I like to mind my own business."

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                                                  #49
                                                  Movie/TV clichés

                                                  tratorello wrote: Re. night clubs in films, how come people can hold conversations in them without having to bellow in each other's ears?
                                                  Bergerac didn't. He danced a bit, snogged a stranger, and ran off in pursuit of Greta Scacchi.

                                                  Lewis just put a baseball cap on.

                                                  Comment


                                                    #50
                                                    Movie/TV clichés

                                                    When the last scene involves some awful joke, and the credits role with the characters laughing stupidly.

                                                    I think Scooby Doo might have started this trend.

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