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 Posted:   Jun 2, 2007 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

How many times must we endure the one about the thief/safecracker/heist guy who comes out of retirement to pull "one last job" for either revenge or so he can quit for good?

Or the sitcom with the birth of a child in an "unusual" place to be delivered by the obviously "unqualified" sitcom star?

Any others?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2007 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

I'd like to see a film where a renegade maverick cop is suspended for going too far, or taking things too personally, told to STOP the investigation... and he does. He just goes on holiday or something, and completely forgets about the case. Just relaxes.

Meanwhile, not that he cares, it's not his case anymore, the killings continue....

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2007 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

Or a sitcom episode in which one character's most cherished, beloved, highly prized and extremely fragile / flammable / delicately balanced possession / creative work / etc. is temporarily entrusted to the care of another character while the first is away, and the second character takes perfect care of it and returns it to the first undamaged...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 2, 2007 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

Any specific genre type series infused with "The Fugitive" style plot.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 3, 2007 - 2:29 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

The REAL Villian Is Revealed To Be A Cop / FBI Agent / The One In Charge of the Investigation.

 
 Posted:   Jun 3, 2007 - 3:05 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Retire this plot. A murder happens and the suspicion initially falls on some lower-class person, but then over the course of an hour a plot is revealed that shows a corporate CEO WASP is the guilty culprit.

Just once, reverse gears at the end and show that the initial suspect was really guilty after all.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 3, 2007 - 3:22 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

Not a plot, but a plot device which has rankled me for years:

The villain, who we normally would want to see brought to justice for crimes that happened before the movie began, kills the wisecracking sidekick, which justifies the hero's later executing the villain.

I think it was David Foster Wallace who called this Execution Justification. Which is ironic, since most of Hollywood claims to be against capitol punishment, but 99% of their movies show not only the death penalty but vigilante justice in action, as a good thing.

((Almost always involves the villain being down, the hero turning his back, and the villain attempting to scuker-punch (shoot) him; the love interest shouts "Lookout!" and the hero blasts the villain to bits.))

 
 Posted:   Jun 3, 2007 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

-I never, ever, EVER want to see another scene in any movie where a group of women bond by boogying around the house while lyp-snyching to an old Motown song on the soundtrack (usually using hair brushes as de facto microphones). Ugh! mad

-I also want to see a permanant ban of the use of the following songs in any movie:

"Walking On Sunshine"

"Bad To The Bone"

"I Feel Good"

"Shout"

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

How about having a suspected suicide actually be a suicide, rather than murder. That would put many 1970s detectives out of business, however, and we all know that Frank Cannon and Dr. Quincy need the dough...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 4:08 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

A soldier or police officer, or hero's friend, who shows photographs of his family... and then doesn't die... that would be a nice change.

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

A visual cliche used in a lot of 80s British TV:

A missing person would be seen across a road, a large vehicle would quickly pass by in front, and the person nowhere to be seen once it had passed.

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 4:20 PM   
 By:   Jon A. Bell   (Member)

Roger Ebert has a whole list of movie cliches that are really funny.

One of my favorites is "the fatal cough" -- if a character in the film coughs for no obvious reason, that guy/girl is gonna die of some hideous disease. You can bet money on it.

My wife and I thought it would be hilarious if a comedy film could play with these cliches and turn them upside down, or send them over-the-top. For instance, you show a perfectly healthy character cough ONCE -- and then you cut directly to his funeral, where all his friends are crying their eyes out.

(I'd also like to see, in every shot of a film set in Paris, the Eiffel Tower visible through every single window in a flat, even if you have a Steadicam going from room to room, each facing a different direction. Same with London and Big Ben, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.)

-- Jon

 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 4:21 PM   
 By:   Jon A. Bell   (Member)

A visual cliche used in a lot of 80s British TV:

A missing person would be seen across a road, a large vehicle would quickly pass by in front, and the person nowhere to be seen once it had passed.


That's a staple in a lot of horror films and thrillers -- even Casino Royale did that recently, with a gondola passing by a villain in Venice.

-- Jon

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 4:34 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

The fatal cough - brilliant - happens all the times in Austalian soaps.



 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 4:36 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

James Bond running down a very straight 80 foot walkway. Gunmen firing at him from one end - and they KEEP HITTING THE FECKIN' RAILINGS!

Happens in lots of films. They can hit a very thin railing but not Choccy Brosnan hoofing it away at zimmer-frame speed.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

One of my TV writer friends has his own plot construction theory on whodunnits:

The character in the show who is most helpful to the police---giving really good information in interviews, helping out on the victim's backstory, standing up for the victim, protecting the accused and his good name, assisting in the investigation---is usually the one whodunnit, man or woman.

(.....and as a further point, I might add that the strongest suspect, right from the start, is usually the one who DIDN'T do it.)



The biggest plot device I'm really tired of is the unrelated group of people lost, crashed, abandoned, set free by kidnappers, etc.....in the middle of nowhere and who must find their way home, through humid, steaming jungle, parching desert, or icy mountain wildernesses.

I don't care whether they're injured, blind, starving, without water, at death's door, harassed by wild animals or natives, or otherwise disoriented, it's still an old, old cliche. And it's even worse when they've included a couple of precocious and adventurous kids in the group, ones who are apt to go off exploring on their own without warning anyone---and,particularly, if they also have appealing animal pets they must look out for and share their food and water with, and who often wander off from the group into dangerous territory, say---a sheer cliff, a raging river, a rickety suspension bridge, a dark and dingy cave......




 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 6:19 PM   
 By:   Jon A. Bell   (Member)

The biggest plot device I'm really tired of is the unrelated group of people lost, crashed, abandoned, set free by kidnappers, etc.....in the middle of nowhere and who must find their way home, through humid, steaming jungle, parching desert, or icy mountain wildernesses.

Well, it may be cliched, but it actually does happen in real life. A few years back, some young adventure travelers/rock climbers in a remote part of an ex-Soviet province (Chechneya?) encountered an AK-toting militant, who attempted to march them to his camp and comrades. After leading his captives (20-somethings in excellent physical shape) over some craggy peaks and rocky cliffs, he let his guard down -- and a couple of the climbers kicked him off a cliff to his death. They then high-tailed it to a local Russian military base, and were flown home.

-- Jon

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 7:10 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

A visual cliche used in a lot of 80s British TV:

A missing person would be seen across a road, a large vehicle would quickly pass by in front, and the person nowhere to be seen once it had passed.


Nah, that one's an American cliche too.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 7:13 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

In any whodunit, at some point in the film or show, we meet the person whodunit, even though they have yet to be identified as the culprit.

For once, I would like the person whodunit to be someone who DOESN'T appear in the film until right up to the point that they are apprehended or whatever.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2007 - 9:16 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....In any whodunit, at some point in the film or show, we meet the person whodunit, even though they have yet to be identified as the culprit.

For once, I would like the person whodunit to be someone who DOESN'T appear in the film until right up to the point that they are apprehended or whatever.....



Some of the best whodunnits are those in which the guilty character tells the story, either in voiceover or on the printed page. It's a cheat, of course, because YOU want to believe that everything you are being told is true, whereas the character wants to mislead you all along the way.

Possibly the earliest and most famous of these plots is Agatha Christie's book, THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD.

 
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