[LMB] Things I Don't Like In Movies [OT:] (was: cardboard characters)

Nick Pilon npilon at gmail.com
Thu, 19 Aug 2004 22:48:15 -0300

On Thu, 19 Aug 2004 17:21:50 -0500, Padget, Scott R
<scott.r.padget at boeing.com> wrote:
> It bothers me more when such things happen in a book or movie which purports
> to be of a genre which does not normally allow such things, or when it's done
> in a way which violates the usual conventions.  This is why I'm unimpressed
> by a lot of "cross-genre" work in general--and especially SF, fantasies, and
> mysteries written by people from outside those realms.  These fields have
> *lots* of different (and not always mutually compatible) sets of standard
> tropes, with skilled authors who can use a few phrases to show an experienced
> reader exactly which (if any) sets of tropes to expect.  But many of the
> "outside" authors don't understand those tropes and their conventional use,
> and thus violate them with no warning and for no apparent reason.

I feel compelled to chime in and agree with Scott here. What's really
important when it comes to unbelievable stuff like this is two things:

1) Using it in a way that's appropriate to the genre.

2) Pulling it off convincingly.

I know I don't give a damn about the space dogfights in the original
Star Wars movies, even though they Just Don't Work Like That. They
make for good cinema, and they fit the genre. The problem is when
things show up out-of-genre or are done in a way that's not
convincing. Most of the stuff in the Matrix sequels fails test #2 - it
was about as convincing as your average video game, which is to say,
not at all.

However, this is just for action stuff. ;) You still need to have good
characterization and plot to make it a Good Movie.

-Nick Pilon