“Freeze…… you’re a cliché”

Why...

When I watch cop movies are they all still wrapped up in the standard ‘gumshoe’ formula? The following seem to me the dirty dozen plot points you need to tick off.

  • 1) Hero is ‘too old for this shit’ and trying to quit a smoking habit/drug habit/drinking habit or even wearing a nun’s habit. Whatever his failings though he can still shoot the eyebrows off a gerbil at 100 yards, a distance he can also cover faster than Usain Bolt.
  • 2) He has relationship problems, yet falls for a girl young enough to be his daughter (and she is old enough to know better). At first meeting she initially hates him.
  • 3) He works in a police station that is forever booking hookers who know our hero. Someone always says “God, the coffee here tastes like sh*t”.
  • 4) His boss is usually overweight, shouts a lot and is permanently putting his star player on suspension.
  • 5) Our hero destroys half the precinct in a car requisitioned from a driver (usually a soccer mom with a cute kid still in the back), tail-sliding wildly into piles of empty boxes or fruit and veg and letting the baddies ultimately get away (so we can get revenge later).
  • 6) The Boss explodes under the pressure from ‘Above’ to curtail our hero’s exploits. This time the boss wants him to stop working alone and work with a new partner.
ARE YOU ASLEEP YET?
    • 7) Partner dies just as our hero starts to give him some respect.
    • 8) Our heroine refuses witness protection, leaves her apartment and is promptly stuffed into the back of a van kicking and screaming. She is taken back to the baddies lair. (Note hair and make-up still good).
    • 9) Someone always sticks a flick knife into a plastic bag of some drug or other…and then never bothers to seal it up again.
    • 10) Mobile phones are only out of range or low on battery when someone is in danger and no one ever takes a bathroom break.
    • 11) There is always a parking space whenever a car pulls up on the sidewalk.
    • 12) Finale has monster shootout with machine gun bullets spraying everywhere that still seem to miss their target. Eventually there is a mano á mano fight between the cop and the head baddie that ends with a fall through a glass skylight. As our hero is about to be plugged, he comes up with a sure-fire quip kills a shocked baddie and saves the girl. Fade out as our hero flings away his badge, his arm around the rescued girl, now his new squeeze.
So there you go, all you budding script writers. Just fill in the blanks!

...and another thing

Some of the trailers save me the bother of seeing the actual movie; they are a mini précis. Are the distributors crazy? A trailer should entice you to see the movie, not tell you the whole story! Why not just say Bruce Willis is dead in The Sixth Sense or hear Darth Vader’s “I am your father Luke,” in The Empire Strikes Back? It’s a promo guys, not a spoiler!

...and another thing

Talent ‘riders’ (the extra demands) from the stars are now getting ridiculous. Billing is a case in point. How often have you seen the name of one star written on the left but below is the face of the other star whose name is actually written on the right? This is because left hand written billing (i.e. the actual printed name) is seen as more important but right hand side of frame is more powerful for a photo!! On other occasions the left hand written billing is lower than the right to equal things out.

Where you are on the poster in the photo is really revealing in working out the pecking order. Just look at an ensemble movie like the Expendables with several big names. Oh and if you have a really good agent, to stand out you get a separate…‘and Mark Grenside’ credit.

...and another thing

Major film releases in Europe were nearly always in the winter as in the summer month’s people went on holidays to countries that did not speak the same language (nearly all James Bond and Harry Potter movies were released in winter). In the USA most people go on holiday inside the States and typically want to go to the movies, hence traditionally US movies were released in the summer. Of course now it’s a free for all but you can be certain of one thin…NO true Oscar hopeful is released in summer autumn or spring but always in the New Year in the run up to the Academy Awards….And the butter on the popcorn has as much similarity to churned milk as something from the laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Cofferlump says:

    Add another one for me: An M4 Carbine takes a 30-round clip – on full auto, it empties in 4 seconds – FOUR SECONDS!!! Killing 300 baddies without reloading is not incredible marksmanship, it’s utter bo**ocks…

    MC