Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! You know what? That’s actually kinda getting old, time for something a little less ordinary. Salutations to one and all, Jack Drees on board! Ah, much better. if you have read my blog a number of times, you know that thing I do at the beginning of some of my posts to greet each and every one of you? Yeah, literally the first sentence, well, I do it all the time, and right now, I do it so much, that I’m thinking of stopping, right now it feels like a habit that I’m trying to break. On that subject, today I’m going to count down my top 10 worst movie cliches. I just want to say before I start the list that this is supposed to be my opinion, note how I just stated “my top 10,” so if you have a different list, go make your own, you can even comment with your own list if you feel like it. Without further ado, let’s start counting down my top 10 worst movie cliches.
10: Repetitive Sequels
Starting off this list we are gonna get right into sequels that repeat other films in the series. There are plenty of films that do this, including some recent ones, such as “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” and “Iron Man 2.” These films don’t repeat step after step of films before it, but there are a number that take a lot of elements from older ones in series which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. To be honest, it’s getting kind of annoying, because while sometimes it can make a scene more intense or funny, it can also be forced. While this is something noticeable in recent films like the ones mentioned above, this is also something that has been going on in some older films including the “Back to the Future” trilogy. I’m gonna give two things that repeat in those films. First, the skateboard chases. In the original movie, there’s this one scene where Biff and his friends are in the diner featured in multiple parts of the film, as you may already know if you’ve seen the film, their frequent target when it comes to bullying is George McFly, but this time, Marty McFly shows em who’s boss and flees out of the diner. Then it’s not over, because Marty has to get out as fast as he can, how does he do that? He goes up to two kids who are operating wooden scooters, Marty rips the top of one of them and he takes off, the chase is on! Then in the second movie, Marty is once again in a diner, the exact same diner in fact, except it is now known as the “Cafe 80’s.” This time, unlike the first movie, where something like this happened in 1955 with Biff, this features Biff’s grandson in 2015. Biff’s grandson often bullies Marty’s son, who in this movie Marty is trying to save from being jailed. During this scene, Marty defends his son, without telling him who he is, but he comes out and fights Biff’s grandson and his cronies. Biff’s grandson thinks Marty is actually his son considering Marty is wearing his son’s clothes and looks like him, then Biff’s grandson asks “What’s wrong McFly, chicken?”, to which Marty replies, “Nobody calls me chicken.” By the way, that is not the only time that happens, and in “Back to the Future Part III,” Marty is actually asked if he’s “yellow,” which is played out in a similar fashion. Guess what happens? Pretty much almost the same fighting you see in the first movie (one shot SCREAMS similar), which then continues on in chase format. Although the difference this time around is that you have hoverboards, which are made by Mattel, who you may know as the makers of Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Monster High. You know what? I may be rambling, but I don’t care because I’m not done, in all three films, there is a scene where Marty becomes unconscious right in front of where someone lives and then next thing we know, we go to a bedroom inside the place owned by the folks who found Marty. Then Marty is in bed, and awoken by a woman in his family, and Marty claims that he “had a dream,” which is also his reality which involves one of his time travel adventures, and the woman replies saying “at least you’re safe now back on/in ______.” In the first movie, Marty is awoken by his mother, Lorraine, although Lorraine isn’t his mother yet, which happens over a decade later, she says that Marty is back in good old 1955. In the next film, Marty is awoken by his mother (again!), although this time, in 1985, which is a much more apocalyptic 1985 than Marty is used to seeing, she says that Marty is back on the good old 27th floor. In third film, guess who wakes Marty up this time? His mother again, how original–HA! Fooled ya! This film took place in 1885 so Lorraine wasn’t born yet. However it is another woman in the McFly family, Maggie McFly to be specific, who actually is played by the same person who plays Marty’s mom, Lea Thompson. In this scene, she says to Marty that he’s on McFly Farm. You know something else? After Marty is told he is in some time or some place, he raises his voice in shock, and he raises himself up, coming off as anxious. Also in each film, at least from what I recall, he says “You’re my mom,” except for 3, where mom is eliminated, and in the first two films, he says to his mother, “But you’re so _____,” which is “thin” in 1, and “big” in 2. You know what? I’m actually almost at a thousand words already so I’m gonna stop ranting and move on.
9: Forced Sequels
On the topic of sequels, let’s talk about forced sequels. There are a lot of movies that do well at the box office, probably because of quality, or the people behind the movie, or even the name of the movie itself. After it is realized how successful certain movies can become, what do people do? Make a sequel! But seriously guys, are all sequels done out of necessity? I wouldn’t think so. “Grown Ups” was successful at the box office, but all in all, I can’t think of too many people who liked it, so what happened when the sequel came out? Pretty much the same thing. And I’ll be honest, I do like “Grown Ups 2” better than the original, but it was still unneeded. Last year’s “Independence Day: Resurgence” didn’t do so hot either when it came to ratings. It ended up getting slammed by critics, it was nominated for 5 Razzies including “Worst Picture,” and Golden Schmoes gave it 2nd place for the worst movie of the year. I mean, sometimes that’s just what you get when you wait 20 years to do a sequel. Another forced sequel I watched in recent months for the first time was “Taken 3.” I’ll be honest, this movie is better than “Taken 2” as a film, but purely the only possible reason this movie exists is to have the “Taken” series be a trilogy, because why not?! Listen guys, if you’re gonna do a sequel, be smart while doing it, otherwise you are just wasting everyone’s time and money.
8: Splitting Books into Multiple Movies
I’m not a bookworm, I prefer film over books, but when books come to film, one thing that sometimes irks me is the idea of splitting books into multiple parts. As far as I’m aware, this hasn’t happened much until recently, but has been something that has getting some attention from me in recent years. The first time I actually remember seeing this was in the “Harry Potter” films towards the end of the series. I never really cared for the series, I watched bits and pieces of the films, but I skimmed through the fourth book once without actually reading, I watched all of five without paying much attention, and if I had to explain what the series was about to you, I’d probably just make s*it up. With that said, I never saw “Deathly Hallows” parts 1 or 2, or if I did, I wasn’t paying attention. At the time they came out, I was 11 during both releases, and if I were the age I am now, I probably would have been somewhat disappointed to know this part 1 & 2 schlock was happening, because a part of me would think it would just be an excuse to have audience members pay for movie twice. This is how I felt when the “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” films came out, which in fact, I haven’t seen, and probably won’t see for a while if I have to pay for either of them. Maybe I’ll borrow it from somebody. Let’s face it guys, movie theaters don’t make as much money as they used to, if this is a way to save certain movie theaters, I’m kinda happy, but I feel like this is just an excuse to make more money. I would rather sit through a four hour long version of “Mockingjay” as opposed to a couple two hour versions of the same movie, plus, if you watch all of the movie at once, you’ll remember things more and you won’t have to reflect on it for a year until the next movie comes out or whatever other time a movie comes out. How would you feel if they split “Braveheart” into two parts? It’s a long movie, but it’s worth a watch and splitting it into two parts would kind of feel like an excuse for money. I will admit though, I was OK with “The Hobbit” doing this based on what they put in the movies. Not to mention, “The Desolation of Smaug” is actually one of my all time favorite films. If you want to split a book into multiple parts, my suggestion would be to make a TV show, it doesn’t always work with movies and when stuff like this is done with movies people sometimes get a little peeved.
7: Weak Enemies/Terrible Shots
This is one that I have reasons for liking, but also can’t stand. I’m talking about bad guys in movies that are either punching bags or can’t fight. The immediate example I would go to when it comes to this are the Stormtroopers in “Star Wars.” Anyone who has seen a “Star Wars” film, mainly the ones that aren’t in the prequel trilogy, knows who I’m talking about, those guys who can’t shoot worth s*it! Although I will say that on the bright side, having weak enemies could potentially make our heroes look more badass when taking them down so there’s a plus.
6: Casting People of a Certain Race to Play a Character Not in Their Race
Remember how last summer the new “Ghostbusters” remake came out and it had all female Ghostbusters? PLEASE, save your money and don’t watch that. While it’s rather uncommon to gender swap in movies, it is a bit more common to change race. There have been many examples of this. For example, 2015’s “Fantastic Four” changed one of it’s comic book characters from white to black. Another example includes a role that even the actor who played this character thought was a miscast role, to be specific, Sakini from the movie “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” was thought to be one of Marlon Brando’s more regrettable moments as an actor. You’ve also got the constant changes from anime and cartoons in such films as “The Last Airbender,” “Dragonball: Evolution,” and most recently, “Ghost in the Shell.” Also don’t forget “Gods of Egypt,” which to my knowledge, has not a single Egyptian actor. Based on what I have told you, this happens with multiple races, but white people are often involved, after all, a good number of actors are white and many of our most beloved ones are in that race. Based on the common white casting, this is often known as whitewashing. No matter what race or color we are dealing with here, casting someone to play a character that doesn’t match with their race based one factor or another all in all just makes the actor’s performance along with their character feel less than authentic. Although I will say the reason why this is higher on the list is because to my knowledge, I don’t see too many movies with a select number of races acting in it, which can interfere with the film and casting as a whole. Another reason why this isn’t all that high because there are occasions where you can sometimes make some people look like they are a race different than their own. Not to mention there was something recently going on with “Ghost in the Shell,” a movie I actually just mentioned earlier. In case you don’t know, “Ghost in the Shell” started out as a manga which was first serialized in 1989, a movie based on the manga released in 1995, which to be honest may have inspired some films that came after it, possibly including “The Matrix.” Last March, a live action adaptation came out, which I heard pays a lot of tribute to the 1995 film, maybe a little too much. In all surety, I don’t know about that considering I’ve yet to see the film. For this film in particular, Scarlett Johanson was cast to play Motoko, the main character in the original material. A lot of people were raging about this, and if I paid more attention to this at first or even cared about “Ghost in the Shell” in any way at the time, I’d probably feel some rage too. However, there is an entire country who thinks Scarlett is good casting choice, Japan, where this whole thing started and takes place. I would usually be somewhat displeased with race changes, but I figured to myself, if Scarlett makes Japan happy, then I’m happy too. Not to mention, from what I’ve seen in trailers, Scarlett seems to do alright in the film performance-wise, I’ll just have to see the film to find out whether or not this is really the case.
5: Post-Converted 3D
3D movies. It has been a technology that has been around for awhile, but has become much more common since the last decade. Quite a few movies have been shot in 3D and shown that way. Such movies include “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “The Jungle Book,” and “The Martian,” all of which have impressed me with how it shows off 3D. However, there are a lot of movies shown in 3D, a pretty high number in fact, that are shot in 2D and post-converted. I don’t mind 3D, I mean, I sometimes mind the price. For example, I live near one movie theater, AMC Burlington Cinema 10, and when you go see a movie past 4PM in 3D, a single adult ticket is $16.09! Unbelievable! Believe it or not, there are actually more expensive options in my area too. However there are times when I’ve seen 3D movies that aren’t worth the ticket price. For example, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” I went to see this movie in Real-D 3D, and the movie itself was disappointing. It wasn’t bad, just disappointing. Right now I’d say it’s a 6/10 film. However, when watching the film, I wasn’t entirely thinking this, but I did after. The 3D, wasn’t even necessary. There’s not really a moment where it stands out, I don’t even recall the hulkbuster scene being a 3D thrill ride. Nothing really popped out at me, it just felt like watching a 2D movie, only it was closer to my eyes. I’m not saying all post-converted 3D is bad though, I actually went to see “Gravity” in IMAX 3D on the first Friday of its release, everything was flying in my face. I also saw “Jurassic World” in IMAX 3D at the same exact theater, which was also a thrill ride to me at moments. Also, I saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” in Real-D 3D, which by the way, was a movie I witnessed at the same place I went to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” There were some moments where I thought the 3D was used well in that movie despite it being shot in 2D. There are certainly worse cliches, which by the way, you’re gonna see right now.
4: Toilet Humor (MAINLY IN ANIMATIONS BUT IT CAN APPLY TO OTHER FILMS TOO)
Animations. They are probably one of the biggest go to genres for families and kids. Other people watch them too, but the usual target when it comes to animated films are families and kids. There are many brilliant films in this genre from “Toy Story” to “Wall-E,” to “Kung Fu Panda.” However there is a problem I have with the genre when it comes a lot of films, both good and bad. That problem, is toilet humor. If you ask me, I understand why younger audiences enjoy toilet humor, but for older people, some may appreciate it, whereas people like me are getting sick and tired of it. There are times where toilet humor can be funny, but other times it just either feels annoying or forced. For example, in “Ice Age: Collision Course,” they get to one scene where the characters are on their quest, and at one point, they put a turd on the screen, which may just be the most forced toilet humor I’ve ever seen. By the way, this isn’t the only time the “Ice Age” series has done something like this, in “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” my personal favorite film in the series, there’s a group of characters packing up their belongings to move towards a boat at the end of a valley, based on the words of the film’s antagonist, due to how the ice around them is melting, and they are bringing poop with them. Poop gags and other forms of toilet humor are something kids can enjoy, but it’s overused, sometimes comes off as rather unintelligent, and becomes less funny as time goes on. This doesn’t mean that adult films don’t contain stuff like this too. In “Dumb & Dumber,” there is a scene where one of the characters is pooping his brains out because of extra strong laxatives. And believe it or not, I haven’t seen all of the movie, but I’m aware that this scene is repeated in “American Pie” and “The Other Woman.” It seems that Hollywood wants to s*it out the same scene over and over again til it gets old. Literally.
3: Absurdity/Not Relying on Logic
There is one common trend I notice in films that is rather common, and liked by many people, and that is absurdity, to be completely honest, I don’t get why it is revered by so many people, to me, it just bogs down movies so much, although I will say with movies like those in the “Fast and Furious” franchise it is actually somewhat enjoyable, but still, it is pretty annoying in others. One franchise that is famous for absurdity is “Sharknado.” I was once livetweeting as a special event on my Twitter to “Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens” during its premiere on SyFy and one of the tweets I sent out says: “Wait a minute, that shark is DEAD and opening its mouth? I don’t know what can surprise me anymore, I’m nitpicking EVERYTHING.
#Sharknado4“. A user with the handle @LM1177 replied to me, for what I recall, saying I have to embrace the silliness and avoid nitpicking. I cannot get the exact tweet to show you because as of right now that account is private, however I did reply to the user saying “I tried, but even for the silly, it wasn’t even that silly, therefore changing my mood. #Sharknado4“. While I do indeed want some movies to be fun, it should know when to be absurd, along with how absurd it should be. The “Fast and Furious” movies work with this because they know how to make an entertaining story while still being absurd, along with cool music, interesting characters, and even occasionally some likable locations. I admit, “Batman & Robin” from 1997 had a interesting looking Gotham, but the physics errors in that film was too absurd for me in that film. I can take absurdity, but movies must know when to use it.
2: Overuse of Product Placement
You can probably agree that we live in a world full of advertising. You see it on billboards, TVs, computers, everywhere! One other place you may see it is in movies. Some of you may know what I’m talking about, some of you might not, but for those of you who don’t, I’m talking about product placement. There are some films I’ve seen in recent years that have product placement all over the place, and I can understand why, but what I can’t understand is the overuse of it, and this mainly irks me when one brand is used more than any other and it stands out during the film. For example, in 2014, one movie was released that was actually based on a children’s book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” When I saw this in the theater I remember seeing five scenes with different Apple products, one of those scenes was so annoying in fact that I’m surprised I didn’t walk out of the auditorium. Yeah, the characters all take out their IPhones just to take a picture of something, I’m just raging in my head because I’m in an auditorium with other people. Not only that, but let me just have you know that this movie was released by Disney, so I’m WILLING TO BET at some point in the script, it was a requirement to call one of the characters “Wreck-it Ralph” and also make the movie what can basically be summed up as a “Peter Pan” commercial, which is owned by Disney. If you watch the movie it completely makes sense, trust me. Also, let’s take a recent film, “Gifted.” In that movie, it starts off with blatantly obvious product placement related to Kellogg’s Special K, which gave me a bad impression right off the bat, it also over elaborated on an Apple product, a MacBook to be specific, and Google was used in that film probably four or five times. Another series that is no stranger to product placement is the Michael Bay “Transformers” films. In fact, there was quite an overload of product placement in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the fourth film in the series, that the popular Youtuber Cinemasins pointed out every single example of this in his “Everything Wrong With” video for the film. Here are just some of the brands contributing to product placement in that film: Beats, Nokia, Skype, Lenovo, Lamborghini, Red Bull, Victoria’s Secret, Budweiser (Bud Light to be specific), Gucci, Chevy, Yili Shu Hua milk, Bugatti, Good Year, and Oreo. I’m not saying there aren’t any times where advertising in movies has worked, in 2013 there was a comedy called “The Internship,” it didn’t have the best reception with critics, with scores like 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and 42 on Metacritic, although it did do rather well with average moviegoers with scores on IMDb traditionally coming in around 6 & 7. The film is about two guys played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn who try to get a job at Google, and the movie is essentially a commercial for Google, while at the same time, having a decent story with humor that works, even during moments that could potentially be promoting Google itself. But seriously, let’s apply this to real life, how many times do you go to a YouTube video and click “Skip ad” whenever that option is given to you during a commercial?………. Yeah, I know, don’t you wish you could sometimes do that during movies?
1: Forced Romances/Needing to Have a Romance in a Movie For Some Reason
We’re finally here guys, at #1, the worst movie cliche, the single most awful thing that often happens in movies, that boys and girls, goes to forced romances. How bad are forced romances? So bad they’re unnecessary! This can also be called a mistake in movies in one way or another, but it doesn’t change the fact that it often happens. One example I want to focus on is the romance between Anakin and Padme from “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” This was actually the first “Star Wars” movie I watched, and when I watched at younger ages, I had no idea what was happening during some parts of the film, but now that I’m older and understand this stuff, I can’t help but cringe when I watch it. I haven’t watched “Attack of the Clones” in almost a couple years, but I remember one time I watched it in 2014 on Blu-Ray for the first time, watching that “I don’t like sand” scene was one of the most astoundingly awful things I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life. If you watch that scene, along with the rest of the film itself, it’s safe to say that you wouldn’t be able to buy these two as a couple. They don’t have much in common, watching them together at times is rather awkward, and pretty much the only reason why their romance is even built during to movie is to continue building up the story that eventually leads to the original trilogy. Plain and simple, lazy writing and poor characterization! Another example of a forced romance is “The 5th Wave,” it is based on a young adult novel which contains a series of waves that bring ruin to the Earth. A teen girl named Cassie Sullivan is trying to survive and also rescue her brother. Along the way, she meets a boy named Evan Walker, which if you’ve read the book, Cassie Sullivan describes his eyes as the color of chocolate. This romance, at least from the way I see it, is forced because Evan Walker is kind of an asshole throughout the film and it almost seems that the only reason Cassie is staying romantically linked with him, at least from what I think, is due to his looks. I mean, heck, there are f*cking ab shots in the movie. I mean, sure, if you want to turn people on with that, go ahead, I’m clearly not in the demographic, I’m a straight male so that says something right there. I will just say, I know with some forced romances, they have sex scenes as well, and I’m well aware that sometimes sex scenes can be forced, but at least forced sex scenes aren’t usually as cringeworthy and also more fun to watch (UNLESS DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ARE, YOU’RE WATCHING WITH A FAMILY MEMBER SUCH AS A PARENT OR KID) as forced romances, at least from my experience of watching TV and film. Also filmmakers, take notes, not every single movie has to have a boy and girl kissing, making out, having sex, falling in love, etc. Just look at another “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One,” two of the main characters are Jyn and Cassian, throughout the film they show no sign whatsoever of romantic connection, and the writers do a swell job of keeping it that way. Not just that, but I’ve seen the movie about 5 times from beginning to end, I don’t remember seeing any romance whatsoever. The only time when these two characters have any sort of noticeable physical interaction is toward the very end of the film, I won’t say what it is for those who haven’t seen the film, but it involves them hugging.
Well that’s it folks, those are my top 10 worst movie cliches, I’m not even sure if this list is all that good or even practical despite putting lots of effort into it, but I want to know, what are some movie cliches you hate? Do you have a list? Let me know in the comments! Do you want to see any other countdowns? Reply with a suggestion and maybe I’ll keep it in mind! Also, I’m planning to see a movie this weekend, maybe two, you’ll find out what they are soon so stay tuned for all of that coming up! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!