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

Victoria L'Ecuyer vlecuyer at ksu.edu
Mon, 23 Aug 2004 12:52:21 -0500

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.  [snip cross genre trope
translations] 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.

Nick Pilon
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.

I'd add
3) Remaining consistent within the story/movie.

One stinker of a movie where the werewolves and vampires battled it out had a
"sunlight bullet". (I've blocked the name of the movie, it was so bad). I could
suspend my disbelief about a UV saturated material that could function as a
projectile/slug. (The movie was a futuristic dystopia) I rolled my eyes in disgust
when they ignored the fact that the UV ammunition worked and started slugging
things out with fang and claw for no good reason, plot wise.

The Star Wars space ships that flew like airplanes make sense if you follow #2
because all of the space dog fight sequences were mapped off of actual WWII dog
fight footage and WWII movies. It's one case where a War Movie Trope was
sucessfully translated into a Science Fiction Trope.

As for the Matrix series, the first one got a "wait for the DVD" response on the
trailier, which I did. After watching the first one, I figured anything after that
would be a cross between a fashion show and a live-action cartoon with cheezy
dialog. I actually enjoyed the series, but I also have a taste for well-dressed
cheese. (Like the Bond movies and Mission Impossible.) My friends and I spent most
of the second and third movies, figuring out how to duplicate the costumes.
Super-slow motion cinematography is really helpful where that is concerned.