Hello, I'm onyxlynx, occasional contributor to this forum, and I'll be your host for this week.
What I had planned on
being boring about
dissecting in a wide-ranging essay was remakes. This is not a new subject here (June 2009
, anyone?), but I wanted to get at good
reasons for remaking a movie, as opposed to "Somewhere somebody still has a nickel."
Unfortunately, that will have to wait; laughingrat
posted on patriarchist tropes having infected even non-major-studio filmmaking, and there was a (mercifully) brief outbreak elseweb of people in countries not Norway claiming to know What They Would Do if faced with a gunman while unarmed and on an island. And that last reminded me a lot of Roger Ebert's Movie Glossary
, which features a daily poke at cinematic cliché, as submitted by his readers. Which brought up *sigh* Flick Physics, or the Laws of Improbability.
Cartoons of course obey the Laws of Improbability; they're supposed to. Cartoons that restrict themselves to reality aren't funny. The whole point of a cartoon is the violation of physical possibility. Where I get antsy is action-fantasy movies where people do things like outrun fireballs.
There are certain givens of movie plotting that are probably not dispensable. If the assassin from the Sekrit Conspiracy hits the Spy with Amnesia with the first bullet, the movie is over. We get that. There have to be at least 2 acts of total stupidity in a romantic comedy before the designated couple can be together. We get that (we may not like
it, but we get it). If the protagonists don't outrun the fireball in the disaster movie, it's too downbeat and realistic
to make money
. We get that. We get it even though we know the fireball has sucked up all the oxygen and is going rather faster than 5 mph.
This is why I have to believe that hobbits have very different biology from humans: They can survive high heat and toxic gases.
No scriptwriter has ever heard of concussions
. Philip Marlowe at the end of his career must have been punchy from being hit in the head that often; football players
at least had helmets, not that that helped much.
No set designer believes in railings and barriers to prevent people from accidentally falling from high places. Of course, this just heightens suspense if there's a swordfight going on, but what about the rest of the time? Aren't there children and sleepwalkers and blind people and drunk/drugged people and folks who are just there hanging out in the towers? (And why encourage
There are other examples, which I'm going to let you provide, because I bought the deluxe edition of A Hard Day's Night
, and now I can't find it.