The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Your Pal's Movie Cliches:Action Edition

I posted a set of Rom-Com cliches a little while ago that I thought hadn't quite made Roger Ebert's Movie Glossary and I have a few dealing with action movie- a cliche laden genre if there ever was one. Quite a few made the Ebert list, but some didn't (at least I couldn't find them). I'd been wanting to post this for a while, but after seeing the new Indiana Jones movie- or more accurately, how I've seen it written up. People talk about it's implausible situations or obvious CGI like it's the first movie to ever have those things. Indy's not the only thing that's aged 19 years, action movies themselves have been building up bigger, louder and independent of logic ever since those quainter days and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is merely the latest example. For the record, it was much closer to the tone and quality of the earlier Indiana Jones movies that the Star Wars prequels were to the original trilogy.

The Physical and Mental villains- It happened in a lot of 80's action movies, I'll use Die Hard as an example: Alan Rickman was the mental villain, Hans. The mastermind and leader of whatever nefarious operation that has the plot set in motion. Any sort of physical confrontation, however, would be over quickly. This is where the physical enemy comes in, Alexander Godunov in this example. This gives opportunity for a spectacular fight scene where either the bad guy dies spectacularly or is presumed dead only to pop up to get shot dead when every one least expects it. Or both.

The Magic Gear: During a race or chase, when everybody seems to be going as fast as they possibly can, something motivates the hero to shift to a heretofore unused magic gear for them to catch up.

The "at first" superfluous skill: Any skill that any character shows that seems pointless at first will come in conveniently handy at some point.

The "Why?" script: Another big 80s thing: The hero has been given the challenge or task that they will spend the rest of the movie trying to accomplish, they invaribly ask,"Why me?" and the answer is almost always, "Because you're the best."

The killing of the henchman script: Ebert's glossary mentions how bad guys often assert their badness by offing an incompetent henchman, but it doesn't mention that the script for these scenes tends to be exactly the same.
Doomed Lackey: "I'm sorry boss, it'll never happen again."
E-vil Guy: "I know"

The most basic action movie cliche can be described in 4 words: Bad Guy, Bad Aim.

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