“I want the truth!”
I don’t feel like I need to defend that one – aren’t you tired of hearing that? Anyone ever said that to you in real life? Don’t you kind of assume when you’re talking to people that they want the truth and that they know you’re also looking for the truth?
Another big one is “Secure the perimeter!”
Usually they scream it to a bunch of SWAT guys or Marines or something – were they just sitting there going gee what should we do about this perimeter, Sarge? Seems like someone called some SWAT guys and/or Marines over here, these guys probably know what a perimeter is. That’s really something you need to start barking at the air right when you get out of your car?
Even so, how do they know who’s in charge? If I pull up and scream “Secure the perimeter!” Will they do it? How do they know Ashley Judd is in charge?
It just doesn’t have the dramatic effect it used to.
Also, in movies about space and in particular movies in which warp speed or time travel comes into play – I’ve had about enough of the map-folding analogy. We all know it came from Stephen King’s fantastic short story “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut,” and in that case it was magical realism, not science fiction.
So when you’re explaining wormholes to me, and I tell you I don’t understand them, and you tell me that the shortest distance between two points on a map is a straight line, and then you get a raised-eyebrow surprise party expression on your face and add “unless you fold the map!” – that doesn’t help.
I already knew what folding meant. I just don’t know how to do it to space.
Sometimes the characters even get out a piece of paper and fold it, to show me what they mean, looking at everyone like they just ran a rack of nine ball. I already knew how to fold a piece of paper for the love of God – just don’t explain it if you don’t want to explain it, that’s all I’m asking.
Also, no more Chosen Ones. That’s just enough of that – too convenient. “The Legend says that a Chosen One will show up and star in a movie about this Legend!” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Also when a government official tells a character that information is Need to Know, I would formally like to ask all screenwriters to stop having the character respond, “Oh yeah? Well I need to know.”
That seriously is so lazy it makes me rock back and forth weeping. Stop it.
Does anyone ever add the phrase “Do it now” to instructions they’re giving you? For some reason, people do that in movies all the time. That’s usually the second bookend to the phrase “I want you to listen to me very carefully.”
So it goes like this, coming from either the Hero or the Villain: “I want you to listen to me very carefully So and So, You need to XYZ and then ABC. Do it now.”
Hardly anyone every specifies that they want me to listen to them carefully – most people who are talking to me actually expect that of me already. And usually they tell me when they want something done if it’s not right now. If it’s right now, they just tell me what it is and look surprised that I’m not hopping to it.
Teenagers and children – I’m really tempted to just ask them in general to keep quiet altogether in movies. They so often talk like poorly acted Bill and Ted ripoffs, or snarky, thirty year-old screenwriters with Masters degrees.
But if they’re going to talk, I need them to A) Stop announcing their ages, especially to their parents, B) Stop rolling their eyes or glaring or otherwise behaving in a manner that anyone except a snarky, thirty year-old screenwriter with a Masters degree would deal with fairly quickly instead sighing and shrugging and asking the Ghost Whisperer, “What can you do?”
You can go and get that kid’s car keys and his shoes, and tell him he’s going to sit in his room like a toddler until he can keep his eyes from rolling around, that’s what you can do there, Movie Mom.
Also, I’d like professors to stop opening college level classes with a vague, general philosophical question that a bunch of stoners or drunks might ponder around two AM, instead of following a syllabus or consulting a reading, and it’d be great if the the bell didn’t ring again after a three minute discussion of it.
That goes for restaurants, too – why do people always sit down and talk for three minutes and then get up and leave?
Or, alternatively, I suppose I could stop feeding a nonstop barrage of television and movies into my head, in which case I might not be so tired of practically everything they are saying to me. That would probably solve it, too.