Things you dislike in movies

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10) Recent flashbacks.

There was that in the recent Black Widow film. I've stumbled upon it a couple of time recently. The most obnoxious one was in a french comedy, Fallait Pas (Should Not, 1996), which I spoil here without remorse nor warning (oh, damn) :

The big bad, an evil cult leader, has tied up all the good guys next to a small bomb he intends to detonate from a distance. One of the good guys, a weak-willed ex-follower of the cult, suddenly grovels back to the leader, holding on his clothes, begging for forgiveness, in front of his shocked allies who feel betrayed. The leader isn't moved, and leaves him behind to explode with the heroes. We follow the baddie, who goes to his car, and all the good guys awaiting death while reproaching the ex-follower his cowardice and last minute betrayal attempt. Until the baddie triggers the remote detonator and explodes in his car, to the surprise of all the good guys who wonder what happened. The ex-follower chooses this moment to respond with an excited "but, yes, remember !", followed with a flashback from 2 minutes earlier, showing (you didn't see that coming) he had slipped the bomb in the cult leader's pocket while pretending to beg him. And, duh. And, gah. And bleh.
Yes, I detest this too, as much as flashbacks over recent events being narrated in a voiceover with the same purpose of “reframing”. Infuriates me. The example that comes to mind is The Body (2012), which I like. But the flashback over voiceover is cringeworthy.



1. Pointless dream sequences that have no relevance to the actual story. Seems to happen a lot in horror films only for the main character to wake up when they're about to be killed.

2. Over use of narration, particularly when it runs throughout the movie. Just kills the atmosphere and takes you out of the moment. Occasionally it works. Shawshank Redemption is one example I can think of where it actually adds to the movie but more often than not it's just lazy.



"How tall is King Kong ?"
Bond's car monitor was obviously linked up (via an early version of wifi) to an early version of Google Earth using a satellite link up that transmitted the video of the helicopter as filmed from space by the satellite to his car's monitor! This might have been a feature of an early British or Japanese version of OnStar!
I just assumed the car was equipped with a tv monitor and vhs system for bored passengers, and happened to show You Only Live Twice. Which wouldn't be too unrealistic : it was a pretty popular movie at that time.
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I just assumed the car was equipped with a tv monitor and vhs system for bored passengers, and happened to show You Only Live Twice. Which wouldn't be too unrealistic : it was a pretty popular movie at that time.
But how could they show that movie since it hadn't completed yet, as Bond & friend were watching the clips of the movie in the middle of the movie that they were in? (What studio would release a movie for viewing on TV or VHS while the movie was still being filmed?)



But how could they show that movie since it hadn't completed yet, as Bond & friend were watching the clips of the movie in the middle of the movie that they were in? (What studio would release a movie for viewing on TV or VHS while the movie was still being filmed?)

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"How tall is King Kong ?"
I love Bond movies. They're also a mine of things I dislike in movies. But hey, some people I love are also a mine of stuff I hate in people.

Anyway, Tomorrow never dies, pre-title sequence. Typical example of... let's call it undefined countdown ? It's very frequent in movies, and very annoying. In that case, it's a missile flying towards Bond's location, will he get out in time ? Action scene, cut to the missile (it flies over the landscape), cut to the action scene, cut to the missile (it still flies over the landscape), cut to the action scene, cut to the missile (it still flies over the landscape). It is far ? Is it close ? It's imminent. How imminent ?



In other movies, it's the hero driving at high speed towards the house where he knows mister awful baddie is assaulting his family. Cut to the house, cut to the car (lampposts pass by), to the house, to the car (other lampposts pass by). It can arrive right now or in two hours, no way to tell. No way to sense the danger, the distance to overcome, the urgency. He'll just be driving until he stops driving. There is no distance.

In a way, it's like action movies fistfights, where no hit means anything (one will fall when one will fall). It's the opposite of a ticking clock. Or the opposite of a countdown. There's no collision course.

I guess that for some filmmakers, repeating "meanwhile he is progressing in this direction" is sufficient. But I feel that the "will he make it will he not" works much better when you get a feel of how close he is to make it, or how likely to arrive too late.



-Bad construction, being put together in a wierd way that makes it hard to pay attention to the dialogue.


-Melodrama. I am emotional! I know real drama when I see it!
(Also a comedic device...)


-subtitles. It's not a book, dammit! But I'll put on my glasses if I must...



I love Bond movies. They're also a mine of things I dislike in movies. But hey, some people I love are also a mine of stuff I hate in people.

Anyway, Tomorrow never dies, pre-title sequence. Typical example of... let's call it undefined countdown ? It's very frequent in movies, and very annoying. In that case, it's a missile flying towards Bond's location, will he get out in time ? Action scene, cut to the missile (it flies over the landscape), cut to the action scene, cut to the missile (it still flies over the landscape), cut to the action scene, cut to the missile (it still flies over the landscape). It is far ? Is it close ? It's imminent. How imminent ?



In other movies, it's the hero driving at high speed towards the house where he knows mister awful baddie is assaulting his family. Cut to the house, cut to the car (lampposts pass by), to the house, to the car (other lampposts pass by). It can arrive right now or in two hours, no way to tell. No way to sense the danger, the distance to overcome, the urgency. He'll just be driving until he stops driving. There is no distance.

In a way, it's like action movies fistfights, where no hit means anything (one will fall when one will fall). It's the opposite of a ticking clock. Or the opposite of a countdown. There's no collision course.

I guess that for some filmmakers, repeating "meanwhile he is progressing in this direction" is sufficient. But I feel that the "will he make it will he not" works much better when you get a feel of how close he is to make it, or how likely to arrive too late.
I see the logic there and I dislike that too. Don’t know if you’ve got around to the latest instalment yet, but at least here
WARNING: spoilers below
we find out that, for once, he doesn’t (or do it looks for now).
I think if you show just “how close” you’re running the risk of highlighting just how unrealistic this all is. And yes, there’s unrealistic and then there’s unrealistic, but I feel this is why people opt for vagueness.

I’ve thought of it too and I think a much better fix/way to spice things up would be to have more characters not make it, for once. Miss the train & the last call and whatnot.



He's not naturally a good actor, but I think he can be effective in the hands of the right director, usually when the movie emphasizes how out of his element he is. When I revisited The Departed this year, I enjoyed how much Scorsese feeds off his sense of insecurity (likely from being surrounded by much better actors than him) and turns him into the funniest thing in the movie. I think PTA, David O'Russell and Michael Bay (probably the best directorial match for his douchebag charisma) get similar mileage out of him.