CURRENT MOVIE CLICHES

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I also enjoy both these things, but I wouldn’t refer to them as cliches.
Yes. Thinking about it, that's probably true.

In the second case (the what-ever-happened-to captions) it's just more of an epilogue, and in the first case it's just end credits with a visual accompaniment.



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Most clichés we criticize, but some aren't bad.


Everything is a cliche. That last sentence is cliched sentiment (and so is this sentence; what is more cliche than meta-commentary?), but it's also true. There are only so many plots and plot devices out there. The trick is not to do something truly original. Nothing is truly original. The trick is to make us forget that this has all been done before, to make us fall in love again, to rearrange the furniture to make the room feel fresh, to be relatively original (in terms or present expectations defined by prior repetitions.



Cliches are a valuable shorthand. Stock characters, for example, are cliches, but they are also economizing. They don't need to be explained and we only have 90 minutes to get this s**t done. Cliches offer a nice coordinating matrix of meaning, right? "OK, we're here and we're doing this and this is the sort of person we have and they've got a familiar motivation." This allows us to focus on the stuff that is unfamiliar - what the writer wants us to pay attention to.



Our cliches also express the politics of the writer. The evil or jerk cop who expresses collective displeasure with policing (Defund the police! ACAB!). On the other hand, there is the maverick hero cop who "does what needs to be done" because other cops are hamstrung by liberal bleeding heart laws (e.g., Dirty Harry). The "realist" film with a scientific view which expresses a sort of anthropological interest in it's characters - no one really right or wrong. The "spiritual" film with an axiological bent which commits to the goodness and badness of people. You don't have to "prove" your politics, if you can just "show" them as common visual "axioms" which are seemingly true (because they're so familiar). Let these commonplaces do the work for you, rather than read a manifesto as clumsy exposition.



Another variation on this that I enjoy (although it's usually limited to teen or college movies) is when they put up pictures of the characters at the end with a "whatever happened to" caption - telling the audience what the character went on to do or what became of them.

The first time I remember seeing this was Animal House. A common gag in comedies. However, was this aping/mocking this as a trend in historical biopics and documentaries? Did that come first?



If I'm remembering correctly, I think the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) did the "whatever-happened-to" thing, but they did it throughout the movie (opposed to at the end) as Roger Corman made it with a semi-documentary feel.

As to putting up the faces of the actors - I wish most movies would do this because (on average) we may recognize the first 4 or so names, then after that, we're often not sure who the rest are... and unless you remember the names of all the characters, then the names of the actors become meaningless (or at least non-associative). And with the speed cast scrolls go by these days (or the way they minimize them on TV so that they are unreadable) - it's sometimes very difficult to see who played who. At least with a face to go with the name, you can learn who the stars are and then recognize them along with their names n other films.



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If I'm remembering correctly, I think the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) did the "whatever-happened-to" thing, but they did it throughout the movie (opposed to at the end) as Roger Corman made it with a semi-documentary feel.

Well, that's a decade before Animal House. This is a way to offer a denouement, so it's probably been done and done and done - I wonder if this may have been borrowed from literature (pre-cinema)?



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The Incredible Graphene Nano-Monster!!!

The gray cloud of stuff monster. Sometimes made of modern day drones. Sometimes made of nano-machines. Sometimes made of space robots. Doesn't matter. It's the gray cloud of crap that attacks everything. And it's everywhere.



It has struck in many films, most recently Moonfall (don't worry, no one else watched it either).




This beast has also destroyed the Starship Enterprise.




We have seen the beast in the Transformers films (right? I am not going to rewatch these movies, so I am just going to let this ride).



It's even attacked our best president, Morgan Freeman.











Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
I remember reading a translation of an old epic English poem where the hero was advised by his mother that if he should see a beautiful woman along the road that he should basically rape her. No big deal. Old school epic poetry advice from a mother to a wandering hero. Fast forward a few centuries and we're watching sexual assault played off as harmless schoolboy pranks on flickering screens.



Body Double uses the peeper-creeper as the premise, with our protag (who looks like Bill Maher's thespian sibling) being lured in with a telescope fixed on a woman who, for no apparent reason, does a strip tease every night in the privacy of her own home.



Films offer us a little transgression, a little fun (Han did, after all, shoot first, that lovable scoundrel), but they do in a fantasy which can normalize. It's strange, people don't go on shooting sprees after watching The Terminator, but kids will lay down in the middle of the road when they see it in a film like The Program. People have enough sense not to try to fly like Superman, but they will copy a Jackass.

It makes you cringe when you think of the jokey-date-rapey gags in films like Sixteen Candles and Revenge of the Nerds.
Is there perhaps a double standard if the genders were reversed? For example if girls set up a camera in a boys sorority room I feel people wouldn't be bothered by that near as much or if in Body Double, the peeping Tom was a female, peeping on a male, I feel it would't bother people as much. But people can be double standard on it seems?



Is there perhaps a double standard if the genders were reversed? For example if girls set up a camera in a boys sorority room I feel people wouldn't be bothered by that near as much or if in Body Double, the peeping Tom was a female, peeping on a male, I feel it would't bother people as much. But people can be double standard on it seems?
Why on earth would a girl do this?
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I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Why on earth would a girl do this?
To laugh at the guys and see what kind of laughs they could get. I could see it happening.



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To laugh at the guys and see what kind of laughs they could get. I could see it happening.

Boys have not cornered the market on cruel pranks or sexual curiosity. I won't go into details, but I was once the target of such an "observational prank" myself. That stated, voyeurism (especially involving hidden cameras) is dominated by men. There are not a lot of stories of female school employees rigging hidden cameras in the boys room, but many stories of male teachers and coaches doing so to the girls room.



I recall in high school that there were girls who used to giggle about a male gym coach whose member was regularly visible in his shorts when they would do stretching exercises for class (i.e., no undies under the shorts). In retrospect, however, it seems that that coach almost certainly knew what he was doing and that the girls were laughing, in part, uncomfortably while also getting a curious "peek" at the opposite sex.



In short, I think it happens, but it's not the norm and not something that we depict in literature as "female behavior." In terms of cultural radar, the predominant "blip" is that of toxic female hierarchy (mean girls, usually named Heather).



To laugh at the guys and see what kind of laughs they could get. I could see it happening.
LOL, we don’t need a camera to do this.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
That's true, but in Revenge of the Nerds, the 'cool kids' are the antagonists of the story, where as the nerds are the protagonists. If the protagonist do not do anything instigative towards the antagonists, then there is no movie. So what do people want, the protagonists, to be nice to the antagonists, and not do anything instigative at all, but then thus there is no conflict?



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
In older movies from the early 90s or before, undercover cops would have ear pieces with wires coming out to communicate, but they were hoping that the drug dealers they are trying to survey, wouldn't notice this.



That's true, but in Revenge of the Nerds, the 'cool kids' are the antagonists of the story, where as the nerds are the protagonists. If the protagonist do not do anything instigative towards the antagonists, then there is no movie. So what do people want, the protagonists, to be nice to the antagonists, and not do anything instigative at all, but then thus there is no conflict?
In my experience, the nerds are always the protagonists. I’m always dying to see a film centring on “cool kids” and have never quite come across that, Heathers aside. And I love the idea of the protagonists taking “instigative” actions against the antagonists, bring it on, that’ll be the day…

Traditionally, as it were, the antagonists kickstart events by taking action against the protagonists, I would argue.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
If they remade Revenge of the Nerds today for example, would they flip it so the nerds were these sexually predatory antagonists, that the cool girls and cool girls' boyfriends have to defeat and we cheer them on instead, because they are getting rid of the sexual predatory outcasts?



We have to remember that Revenge of the Nerds was a revenge movie (and the ethical merits of revenge are certainly debatable).

But the Nerds had already been targeted by the Alpha Beta's (jocks) and their girls' sorority counterpart: the Pi Delta Pi's.
So the Nerds actions were purely retaliatory as they had already been victims. We can reason that the Nerds would never have gone on the offensive if they hadn't already been virtually assaulted by the Alpha Beta's and humiliated & betrayed by the Pi's.

As violating and unchivalrous as it was, the audience was able to rationalize that what the Nerds did to the Pi's was justified as the Pi's had it coming.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
That makes sense and in a movie like say The Punisher (2004) if we can cheer on guy for going on a murder spree out if revenge, is spying on naked women out if revenge worse?



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Your Psychologist is the Villain!

(And you are dreaming!)


Are you, dear protagonist, feeling confused, unsure, losing your grip on reality? Have you been having delusions of heroism and purpose? Fear not, for I, Dr. Badguy, will help you back to reality.



Of course, Dr. Badguy is not a real psychologist and is not trying to help you and, in fact, the clinic/asylum is the dreamworld which you must escape by waking up.



Episode 4 of Moon Knight visits this one, but we also saw it played out in Matrix 4 (Doogie Howser is Neo's head shrink). Our hero is trapped in a dreamworld where they are lied to and told that they are mundane. BtVS visited this one ("Normal Again") and so did Smallville ("Labyrinth").


Related to this is the general "dreamworld trap" plot which has been explored so many time on Star Trek (sometimes when that old holodeck goes wonky or when an alien species tricks members of the crew). Also related to this is the "Evil Shrink" (e.g., Hannibal Lecter).



This cliche is one that features both the dream world and the villain as tormentor-pretending-to-be-helper (therapist).





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The Implausibly Virtuous Immigrant

Quite frequent in "present year," this cliche is didactic, it teaches us how to see (properly). Additionally, immigration is a touchy issue globally and it is hard to depict certain demographics negatively without audiences inferring an untoward message to the demo itself. Some cliches are overcorrections. This is one of them.

Knives Out is the most conspicuous example I can think of for this category, as it features a hard working, underappreciated immigrant employee who will literally vomit if she tells a lie. Arrested Development features Marta, a prize neither Gob nor Michael deserve--that the show swaps out actresses playing Marta's played as a meta-touch on American indifference to migrants (interchangeability of dehumanized labor) and is also a nod to how Soap Operas swap actors at the drop of a hat (Marta's character was a soap star).

The counterpart to this is the Implausibly Vicious Border/ICE agent (e.g., Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada).

There is a story, which is a favorite on Reddit which sums of the intended sentiment/effect of this coding, which I shall quote below:

Just about every time I see someone I stop. I kind of got out of the habit in the last couple of years, moved to a big city and all that, my girlfriend wasn't too stoked on the practice. Then some shit happened to me that changed me and I am back to offering rides habitually. If you would indulge me, it is long story and has almost nothing to do with hitch hiking other than happening on a road.

This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of gas situation. All of them were while driving other people's cars which, for some reason, makes it worse on an emotional level. It makes it worse on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my car, and know enough not to park, facing downhill, on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.

Anyway, each of these times this shit happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show. The 4 gas stations I asked for a gas can at told me that they couldn't loan them out "for my safety" but I could buy a really shitty 1-gallon one with no cap for $15. It was enough, each time, to make you say shit like "this country is going to hell in a handbasket."

But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.

He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of 6 in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice. Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks english. He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it. He produces a saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top, and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones and I wasn't careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off. ****.

No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very happy man. We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man's hand but he wouldn't take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for being so awesome. She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home. She asks if I have had lunch and when I told her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best ****ing tamale I have ever had.

So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow...

But we aren't done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My ****ing $20 bill! I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won't take it. All I can think to say is "Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor" with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:

"Today you.... tomorrow me."
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/c...hiker/c18z0z2/

Is it a true story? As Sheriff Bell says, "Well, it's true that it's a story." And even if it is not true, it's the sort of thing we want to be true. After all, if we're not cooperating, then we're competing. This cliche embraces the notion that we should set fear aside and cooperate (e.g., that cliche moment on Star Trek when Kirk lower the shields as an act of trust).




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The Millennial Parental Apology Fantasy
Everything Everywhere falls into a suddenly popular subgenre of film I call the “millennial parental apology fantasy,” alongside a host of other movies, most of them animated. (See also: Pixar’s Turning Red, Encanto, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines, among others — and that’s just in the last 12 months.) Instead of telling the time-honored story of a child learning just how much their parent has sacrificed for them, these stories tell its mirror image. Instead, they are stories where the parent has to realize how badly they’ve treated their child. The ability to heal intergenerational trauma lies at least in part with that parent, and as the film wraps up, they take real steps to doing so, usually as the child realizes that the trauma did not originate with their parent but much further up the family tree. Better able to understand each other, the parent and child end the film with a better relationship.



The millennial parental apology fantasy looks at this whole scenario through a radically different lens, one where the parent is more to blame than the child. The parent has to realize the need to take their child as they are; the child usually has to realize that their parent’s horrible treatment of them is rooted in something bad their parent experienced.