What tropes/clichés are you fed up with in films?

Dave

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"Practically zero", not zero, but there are 8,045,311,447 people alive on Earth and you found me one! It still appears far too many times in fiction, and is a real fear for far too many people.

On the other hand, this research gives other examples, and suggests the risk is as high as one or two percent: The Lazarus Effect: How often are people almost buried alive?
I'm still skeptical that it is anything like that high, and I'm still getting cremated rather than the special coffin which can alert people when I'm still breathing.
 

Cthulhu.Science

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Arbitrary absurdly short time deadlines.

So many movies use this trope to push the plot.

And so often it is so unnecessary.
In the first Avatar -- Why is it that our hero was given 13 minutes (plus/minus) to convince an entire society to abandon its civilization??? How about a week, or a month or five years? The results would be the same. The society will refuse.

But the Trope is used constantly and 99 times out of 100 the use has no value other than artificial "excitement." Not only does the Mission Impossible team have to break into the perfect vault that can't be broken into, but they only have 4 minutes to get it done.

Further 98 out of 100 times it FEELS completely artificial, arbitrary and unnecessary to the story.

My suspension of disbelief takes a hit every single time.
 

Cthulhu.Science

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The Inverse of the above --
Actions taking place without regard to the actual time it takes to do them

The 2000s TV series "24" was constantly doing this.
Dialog (with accompanying action) might be something like this: "I've just completely something at this mall. I can be in Pasadena City Center in 17 minutes."
-- For those who have never been to a mall in Southern California, you won't get to your car and then out of the parking lot of any mall in 17 minutes. The TV series "24" was particularly poor at this, which is somewhat ironic since the central conceit of the show was that time was of the essence. Somewhere along the way I saw a map of Jack Bauer's travels during each episode. Other than the episodes that took place between 2 am and 5 am, none of the driving could have been accomplished during the hour, let alone an action here, driving, an action there.

BUT that show is easy pickings. Really, to belabor that metaphor, that show was fruit rotting on the ground.
 
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Cthulhu.Science

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Space ships with exploding control panels

I don't know if Star Trek initiated this trope but it is stupid and needs to stop.
I don't care what you shoot at my house, my monitor is not going to spark and explode because of it.
I am confident that no current warship is designed in a way that the helm explodes during battle.
What type of psychopath would design a spaceship with control panels designed to explode in the middle of battle.
 

Elentarri

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I don't watch a lot of TV/movies, but what gets me is the scenes that take place at night and what you see is a black screen. :rolleyes: Then there is also the hundreds of years old monster (usually vampire or werewolf) that falls in love with an insipid teenager. I get stalking the school for a fresh, juicy snack, but the whole love/soul mate thing?! UUURRRGGGG
And the repetitive plots. Looks like Hollywood ran out of ideas or inspiration.
 

Elentarri

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Space ships with exploding control panels

I don't know if Star Trek initiated this trope but it is stupid and needs to stop.
I don't care what you shoot at my house, my monitor is not going to spark and explode because of it.
I am confident that no current warship is designed in a way that the helm explodes during battle.
What type of psychopath would design a spaceship with control panels designed to explode in the middle of battle.
Well, how else are you going to mildly blow up the command crew without permanently killing them as would happen if you vaporised the whole ship or had everyone blown out into space via the big hole in the side?
 
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Cthulhu.Science

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Well, how else are you going to mildly blow up the command crew without permanently killing them as would happen if by vaporising the whole ship or having everyone blown out into space via the big hole in the side?
The Expanse managed this really well.
Have space ships literally shoot holes in each other. Allow flying objects that were not secured properly fly around the ship during battle maneuvering.
If that is the sort of thing you want.

Your comment seems odd to me since I don't recall an episode of Star Trek where the command crew was injured when their control panels blew up -- at least not the stars of the show. Also, I don't recall an episode where the explosions on the bridge directly had any meaningful deleterious effects on the operation of the ship. There may have been a couple episodes where the destruction of the bridge coincided with the complete disabling of the ship, but the explosions in the bridge were generally symbolic in nature. --- And took me right out of my suspension of disbelief.
 

Elentarri

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Your comment seems odd to me since I don't recall an episode of Star Trek where the command crew was injured when their control panels blew up .
I haven't watched Star Trek in ages and never watched Expanse. Someone on the bridge must have been injured and carted off to sickbay occasionally or have a doctor pitch up with the magic wand? I remember that - vaguely. I don't know if the cause of the injury was exploding screens, other exploding panels or just from being flung around because seat belts hadn't been invented yet. :unsure:

I suppose this sort of thing goes along with "visual effects", same as "noisy explosions in space"? ;)
 

Cthulhu.Science

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Extremely dark work spaces.

At least in the US, there are legal minimum standards for workplace lighting
Workplace-OSHA-lighting-examples.jpg


You might turn down the lights in your home office. Government and office buildings are famous for their annoying bright lights. Unless its in a movie.
 

Swank

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You might turn down the lights in your home office. Government and office buildings are famous for their annoying bright lights. Unless its in a movie.
Or after hours, when the lights get turned off.

And hospitals do turn the lights down at night because it causes people to be quieter and less likely to wake patients.
 
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Cthulhu.Science

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I'm not sure any of those characters are sexualized as lusting after the protagonist? But funny how in film/TV black leather is commonly used as a short-hand for "dangerous person" - cf my second point


I can appreciate the use of the use of black/white colours as a visual short-hand for "good guys/bad guys" in visual media, but it seems to go beyond that when leather is involved. Not many films challenge that.
Of course "leather" means dangerous. They are wearing a dead animal. Much more dangerous than wearing some spun plant or hair.
 

KGeo777

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"I have something urgently important to tell you...meet me at 8 o'clock."

How many times they pull that stunt--the character is killed before he can reveal the information.

Recently I saw a movie-and they subverted it slightly by having the protagonist say "ok, hold on-tell me it now.."
but then the character gets distracted by someone so the informant is killed anyway but at least they tried.
 

Phyrebrat

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Great responses, all, and thanks for re-triggering me! (and making me use the word 'trigger' which I try to avoid)

Servalan we could forgive because Blake's 7 was a different era,

I recenly began a rewatch of Blake's 7, which I had only seen when it first screened and I was a bratling in clouts. I always saw Servelan in my mind's eye as wearing black, and some kind of dom outfit, but she actually wears lots of diaphanous cocktail dresses in white. I was really surprised and wondered if I was suffering from a Mandela/conflation effect relating to her idiosyncratic hairstyle.

Major Kira in the dumb alternative universe episodes,

And coincidentally, I've never seen all of DS9, I think I started watching it in Season 3 or 4, maybe even 5 when it was orignally screened, but started watching it at the beginning of Half Term. Managed to get up to Ep 7 of season 3 (!!!) and was delighted the Intendent turns up earlier than I thought. I think because DS9 took so much diversion from the clean, anodyne sensibilties of the other series', it comes across well. Certainly I never realised how queer-coded and race-coded it was. I always had in mind that I loathed Quark but he (along with Garak) are stellar characters. It's odd that Sisko comes across as the worst. Great acting, but so thankless and his interactions with his son Jake are very uncomfortable because they often come across as grooming.

"Let's split up and see what we can find"

Oh gods, yes. I forgot this one.

I wonder if this is because it being foreign means that weirder stuff might happen?

I definitely think this. Social morés and cultural capital are so different even across the channel. Just watched an outstanding horror called La Tour (Lockdown Tower in English) and it was almost pushing into French Extreme Horror (which I'm no fan of) but was, once again, an example of the horror genre being the best genre for handling socio-political events. Shows like The Expanse and BSG do wonders for sociopolitical commentaries, but they miss the visceral fear. I think La Tour may be one of the most nihilistic films I've ever seen.

I also wonder - how can I put this politely? - that some of us here are just too old for some films being made.

I agree. I think we just become fatigued with repetition. I'd no longer read The Beano which I thought was the pinnacle of comics as a kid -- okay, that's an OTT, extreme example, but...

Hollywood makes horror for dating teenagers so it's often lowest common denominator wins.

On the other hand, a slow, unsettling film like Lake Mungo works much better on me now than it would have done when I was 20.

Phenomenal film. I'm not sure, though. I think even at 20 I would have preferred it. Certainly I've never 'got' Halloween, Friday the 13th, but as a kid I loved those weirder world cinema offerings. Often in the form of PIFs or cartoons.

he partly blamed it on the Germans being into spanking

Well, duh. Obvs.

I simply cannot understand the attitude to music of anybody under 40.

You'll be happy to hear how many 16-20 year old Tottenham and Hackney young men I've turned onto Kate Bush. From drill, trap and hip hop to the more erudite, ethereal majesty of The Dreaming or Hounds of Love...

I don't like films where the MC's are a top military team and all they do is argue and complain about how each one is smarter and better than the other. And when they fight the bad guys, they are all over the place! But the bad guys always get beaten, no matter how organized and disapplied they are.

This doesn't bother me too much, because I often feel action movies don't need the seriousness that a horror does. And I wouldn't call Aliens a horror more than a SF, whereas Event Horizon is pure cosmic horror. I remember loving the interplay between the characters in one of the recent Predator offerings (not sure which one but it had a predadog in it and some really funny dysfunctional soldiers)

agree with horror movies using cheap 'jump shocks' these days. But it seems to be what audiences want.

See, I think the opposite; of all the horror podcasts I listen to, the movie ones always moan about jump scares.

Farscape?

Or the protagonist in Zardoz?

Scorpius? but ewww... Loved the character but every time he kissed some gorgeous alien beauty I got a bit sick. The Zardoz comment really made me laugh. I'd totally forgotten about that monstrosity.

Arbitrary absurdly short time deadlines.

Yes! But wouldn't you say that's often down to the strictures of a film's running time, more than laziness?
 

KGeo777

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I think Quark was a great character.
DS9 started strong because so many of them were aliens so they didn't have to make them all goody goody.
There is an early episode where people are infected with a virus that messes up their speech and you see Quark in a sickbay speaking gibberish to someone and Odo comes in and says with satisfaction: "Well Quark, I see even you weren't spared."
And Quark replies: "You underestimate the ferengi brain constable. I am just making sure none of my customers are faking it to get out of their bills." Then he says to the patient: "Owe! You! Money! Me!!"
 

paranoid marvin

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I think Quark was a great character.
DS9 started strong because so many of them were aliens so they didn't have to make them all goody goody.
There is an early episode where people are infected with a virus that messes up their speech and you see Quark in a sickbay speaking gibberish to someone and Odo comes in and says with satisfaction: "Well Quark, I see even you weren't spared."
And Quark replies: "You underestimate the ferengi brain constable. I am just making sure none of my customers are faking it to get out of their bills." Then he says to the patient: "Owe! You! Money! Me!!"

Quark is easily the best character in DS9, and the Ferengi time travel back to Earth one of the best storyline.
 

paranoid marvin

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Great responses, all, and thanks for re-triggering me! (and making me use the word 'trigger' which I try to avoid)



I recenly began a rewatch of Blake's 7, which I had only seen when it first screened and I was a bratling in clouts. I always saw Servelan in my mind's eye as wearing black, and some kind of dom outfit, but she actually wears lots of diaphanous cocktail dresses in white. I was really surprised and wondered if I was suffering from a Mandela/conflation effect relating to her idiosyncratic hairstyle.



And coincidentally, I've never seen all of DS9, I think I started watching it in Season 3 or 4, maybe even 5 when it was orignally screened, but started watching it at the beginning of Half Term. Managed to get up to Ep 7 of season 3 (!!!) and was delighted the Intendent turns up earlier than I thought. I think because DS9 took so much diversion from the clean, anodyne sensibilties of the other series', it comes across well. Certainly I never realised how queer-coded and race-coded it was. I always had in mind that I loathed Quark but he (along with Garak) are stellar characters. It's odd that Sisko comes across as the worst. Great acting, but so thankless and his interactions with his son Jake are very uncomfortable because they often come across as grooming.



Oh gods, yes. I forgot this one.



I definitely think this. Social morés and cultural capital are so different even across the channel. Just watched an outstanding horror called La Tour (Lockdown Tower in English) and it was almost pushing into French Extreme Horror (which I'm no fan of) but was, once again, an example of the horror genre being the best genre for handling socio-political events. Shows like The Expanse and BSG do wonders for sociopolitical commentaries, but they miss the visceral fear. I think La Tour may be one of the most nihilistic films I've ever seen.



I agree. I think we just become fatigued with repetition. I'd no longer read The Beano which I thought was the pinnacle of comics as a kid -- okay, that's an OTT, extreme example, but...

Hollywood makes horror for dating teenagers so it's often lowest common denominator wins.



Phenomenal film. I'm not sure, though. I think even at 20 I would have preferred it. Certainly I've never 'got' Halloween, Friday the 13th, but as a kid I loved those weirder world cinema offerings. Often in the form of PIFs or cartoons.



Well, duh. Obvs.



You'll be happy to hear how many 16-20 year old Tottenham and Hackney young men I've turned onto Kate Bush. From drill, trap and hip hop to the more erudite, ethereal majesty of The Dreaming or Hounds of Love...



This doesn't bother me too much, because I often feel action movies don't need the seriousness that a horror does. And I wouldn't call Aliens a horror more than a SF, whereas Event Horizon is pure cosmic horror. I remember loving the interplay between the characters in one of the recent Predator offerings (not sure which one but it had a predadog in it and some really funny dysfunctional soldiers)



See, I think the opposite; of all the horror podcasts I listen to, the movie ones always moan about jump scares.



Scorpius? but ewww... Loved the character but every time he kissed some gorgeous alien beauty I got a bit sick. The Zardoz comment really made me laugh. I'd totally forgotten about that monstrosity.



Yes! But wouldn't you say that's often down to the strictures of a film's running time, more than laziness?

I think there is a difference between podcast makers , who are usually knowledgeable in their fields, and the average movie goer. I'm guessing that most 20-30 years probably aren't familiar with the very best horror movies made many years before they were born.

Servalan wore a variety of dresses; as you mention often cocktail style. And many of her henchman wore black. But she's probably most remembered for a type of black feathery dress she wore. Interestingly Avon was pretty much always wearing black.

If you haven't seen it, there's a very well made parody called Blakes Junction 7, available to view on Youtube. Mackenzie Crook makes for a eerily convincing Servalan, and Blake is hilarious.
 

THX1138

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This doesn't bother me too much, because I often feel action movies don't need the seriousness that a horror does. And I wouldn't call Aliens a horror more than a SF, whereas Event Horizon is pure cosmic horror. I remember loving the interplay between the characters in one of the recent Predator offerings (not sure which one but it had a predadog in it and some really funny dysfunctional soldiers)
True, a nice balance is good. And there are times when the comic relief does in a way come from bumbling soldiers. Perhaps a play on their off-duty personalities? Many of them are everyday goofballs off-duty! I have known a dozen or so that fit that bill.

As for the ruff tuff women can do it all trend, I know that's what the market the production companies are currently going for. Yes, I have known many women that force that view in real life, but life is not the movies and I have seen it fall apart in real life many times. So, I guess film and books are a legit escape from reality. Something we all are guilty of, I suppose? :)
 

Foxbat

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Movies (or TV shows) where a main character is killed and then somebody travels back in time to put things right.

I consider such a scenario as an act of utter cowardice. If you’re going to kill a character then do it and stop being such a spineless writer. At least GRRM was merciless and lethal to many of his best people and I respect that.
 

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