Weekend Roundtable: Movie Pet Peeves

We here at The Bonus View were pretty pleased with the response to last week’s Weekend Roundtable question about most hated movies. So, let’s try it again, shall we? This week’s topic: Biggest movie pet peeves.

To clarify, we’re talking about pet peeves we have with movies themselves, not with the theatergoing or movie-watching experience. Sticky theater floors or people talking on cell phones don’t qualify. Annoying clichés do. Does that make sense? Good, let’s go.

Dick Ward

  1. Rain, dirt or blood on the camera – You’ll see it in movies, television and even in videogames, but unless we’re supposed to know a camera’s there – like in documentaries or films like ‘Cloverfield‘ – the effect just takes me out of the movie. When the effect is presented in a first person perspective, it’s even worse. It’s a bit insulting, really, to show us a completely unrealistic visual and expect us to swallow it.
  2. Unplugged musical instruments – An unplugged electric guitar does not make the same sound as an electric guitar that’s plugged in. An unplugged keyboard probably won’t make any noise. It’s even worse when there’s clearly no power going to the instrument. I’ll forgive actors that don’t know how to play the instrument they’re holding, but how hard is it to run a cord to a guitar? If the cord’s a problem, pop in a wireless transmitter so I can at least feel like you tried.

Drew Taylor

  1. Dead cell phones – There’s a hilarious video montage of horror movies in which cell phones die unexpectedly at crucial, dire, life-or-death moments. If you haven’t picked up on this horrible, new millennium cliché, then after watching this montage you won’t be able to NOT spot/hate it. Yes, the lack of signal works occasionally from a narrative standpoint. It’s easy to forgive in, say, the underrated remake of ‘The Crazies,’ because whatever nefarious governmental agency that has no qualms about quarantining an entire small town would probably have the chutzpah to futz around with people’s phone reception. But most of the time, it’s a cheap narrative shortcut that not only takes you out of the movie, but dates it prematurely. This is why Frank Darabont dispensed with all cell phone-related business quite early in ‘The Mist‘ in an effort to maintain the “timeless” feeling he was going for, or why Richard Kelly set ‘The Box‘ in the 1970s, long before we could text message illicit warnings like, “Don’t push the button, you goober!” Maybe a dead or signal-less cell phone is the new “teen going into the spooky cabin” – something that raises our awareness and gives the audience a chance to scream, “You stupid bitch!” at the screen. Really, I’m pretty sure it’s just lazy.
  2. Post-coital prudishness – This could be the beginning of an incredibly long-winded diatribe about the gender inequity in Hollywood when it comes to nudity, but I’ll save that for another rant. Instead, I’ll focus on the post-coital prudishness that seems to severely grab any young starlet in most movies. You know what I’m talking about. Even if the sex scene that preceded it showed some skin (probably glistening with just the right amount of sweat, shot through heavy filters and/or atmospheric smoke), a whole different sense of propriety takes hold the morning after. The woman is usually seen grabbing the sheets to her chest to cover any offending bits, then dashing up out of bed, sometimes taking the sheets with her, to change with the utmost modesty. [Ed: This trope is known as the “Modesty bedsheet.”] Of course, during this time, the guy is probably reclining in bed, his abs still glistening from the night before. Even Hollywood movies with a modicum of real world authenticity give in to this tired cliché, which makes a movie like the recent ‘Mother & Child’ so refreshing: after Naomi Watts has a tryst with her boss (Samuel L. Jackson), she walks out onto her balcony with her robe wide open, nothing underneath. She flashes her next door neighbor (and us, the audience), all the while reminding us that in the real world, sometimes people don’t cover up.

David Krauss

  1. Cop-out sequel titles – We all know Hollywood has about as much imagination as the cardboard characters that populate most of its films. When it comes to sequels, the dearth of creativity often expands to a bottomless abyss. Don’t get me started on the lame plots and tired retreads that comprise what’s become an extremely lucrative Tinseltown sub-industry. And I guess if writers can’t come up with a decent storyline for their sequels, it’s probably impossible for them to slap a snappy title on their script. But you’d think someone on the circuitous studio food chain could put their noggin to use and think of something more creative than ‘Sex and the City 2,’ ‘Toy Story 3,’ ‘Iron Man 2,’ and ‘Cheaper by the Dozen 2,’ to name but a pitiful few. I fully realize the movie-going public isn’t the brightest bulb in – to quote Jean Hagen’s delightfully ditzy Lina Lamont in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – “the cinema firmament.” But most of us are savvy enough not to need a huge numeral to distinguish one film from another in a particular franchise. It should be a requirement that a subtitle should follow every numbered sequel. It at least adds a little bit of personality to what is usually a bland offering.
  2. Shaky Cam – When I walk down the street or across the room, the world doesn’t jiggle and shake, unless I have a serious disease (which, thankfully, I don’t) or have had a few too many drinks (which only happens occasionally…really!). Since movies, for the most part, try to depict reality and put the audience into the shoes of various characters, they shouldn’t jiggle and shake either. But the jittery camera has become an increasingly irritating trend in film and TV. Often, it serves no purpose whatsoever. Newsflash to cutting edge directors – the bouncy camera is not artistic; it’s ANNOYING. Unless you are specifically trying to create an uneasy mood or are shooting from a subjective viewpoint, stop using it! Not only do we get the picture without all that unnecessary wiggle, we LIKE the picture without all that unnecessary wiggle. Good directors don’t need gimmicks to tell stories. A shaky camera just distracts us from what’s really happening on screen.

Josh Zyber

  1. Movies titled after the main character’s name – The recent release of ‘Cyrus‘ brings this to mind. It really bugs me when movies are simply titled after the main character’s name. I have no problem with it if the movie is a biopic of a real historical figure like ‘Patton‘, ‘Nixon‘, or ‘Michael Collins’. I’m fine with that. But in a purely fictional film, what does a bland title like ‘Cyrus’, ‘Ed’, ‘Eddie’, or even ‘Michael Clayton‘ tell us about the movie? It tells us that the screenwriter was lazy and couldn’t come up with a better title. Perhaps the example of this that bothers me most is ‘Dave’, the Kevin Kline comedy about an average schlub who happens to look like the President, and is recruited to step in when the real President is incapacitated. You’ve got a juicy concept like that (and it’s a pretty decent movie too), and the best title you can come up with is ‘Dave’? No wonder it bombed. Nobody knew what it was about. Here, let me help you out, screenwriter. How about you call it ‘President Dave’? OMG, I just made your movie a thousand times better with one word! Pwned!!1!!!
  2. Sound in outer space – Here’s something that anyone who passed the 8th Grade should know: Sound doesn’t travel in the vacuum of outer space. So why doesn’t anyone in Hollywood understand this? Seriously, it’s kind of shameful that ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘ was the last major sci-fi film to attempt to depict physics accurately. (‘Serenity‘ got the sound thing right about 75% of the time, but gave up on that at the end; it also indulged in a lot of physics-defying silliness such as artificial gravity and faster-than-light travel.) I can forgive movies like ‘Serenity’, or ‘Star Wars’, or ‘Star Trek‘ for this sort of thing. They’re fantasy, I get it. I don’t expect them to be realistic. However, when a supposed docu-drama like ‘Apollo 13‘ shows us a space capsule making WHOOSH!! and ZOOM!!! ZOOM!!! noises in the vacuum of space as it flies past the camera, I find that just unforgivable. It reminds me of a child playing with his toy model spaceships, holding them over his head and muttering cartoon noises under his breath. The subject matter of that movie deserved a lot more intelligence, maturity, and respect than it was given.

That’s it for us. Now it’s your turn. What are your movie pet peeves?


  1. JoeRo

    1. @David Krauss re: The shaky cam. AMEN! I’ve been hating the shaky cam for as long as I can remember. I don’t know who pioneered this particular misuse of the camera, but I remember Saving Private Ryan as being the film that cemented it’s place in the lazy filmmakers handbook. The most offensive part of the whole Shaky Cam style of cinematography is that it’s a staple of actions films, not just war films. When I’m watching an action sequence I have to be able to understand where the action is taking place, how it’s moving, and where it’s moving to. With shaky cam, that’s an impossibility.

    Worst offenders:
    Jason Bourne Series
    Every post-Saving Private Ryan war film
    District 9

    2. Fake Operating Systems. I’m sure someone’s said this before, but man oh man do I hate me some phony baloney OS. In pretty much every film universe, sci-fi films get a pass on this one of course, every office, household, government agency, mobile phone, has it’s own OS … or faux-S if you prefer. In the case of government agencies it’s somewhat plausible, but come on. The vast majority of computing humanity is using one of three operating systems, enough bullshit already.

    Worst Offenders:
    Every movie featuring a computer. Except for Tron, that shit’s accurate as all get out.

    • Josh Zyber

      Your comment reminds me of Tom Cruise trying to use email and Usenet in the first Mission: Impossible. That scene is hilarious to watch today.

    • Fake Operating Systems: “An interactive CD-ROM!”

      That’s the one part of Jurassic park that still bothers me to this day. Their OS made no sense!

      • I have been looking for that 3D GUI for Unix every since Jurassic Park came out, haven’t seen it yet. Then again, all the Unix computers were Silicon Graphic workstations, and the rest of the enviornment was Mac.

        That is one thing that annoys me. Product placement in the way of computers. While Macs have a bit of a popularity, last I checked, the whole world did not run on Apple.

        At least Jurassic Park made use of a multi-OS enviornment.

        But yeah, the “Interactive CD-Rom” line does seriously date the movie.

    • I’ve gotta second number two. Remember when Shia LeBeouf tries to login to Xbox Live in “Disturbia” and that fake-ass “ACCESS DENIED” window appears? Wow I hated that. And that’s another thing that bugs me in film: when any sort of GUI operates unnaturally smooth at 1,000,000,000 FPS.

    • Eh, depends on the actors and the director. Any child actor in the hands of Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) or Stephan Spillberg (look at the camera and scream) is a bad thing. But other movies are great – Hide and Seek, any Abigail Breslin film. As I have seen Dakota Fanning in both great films and horrible films, my opinion is that this is due to a crappy director.

  2. BambooLounge

    Re: Titles using a character’s name.

    Truly the mark of a lazy writer. For example, Charles Dickens, the laziest and most looked down upon of Victorian novelists had the nerve to write a novel entitled David Copperfield about the character David Copperfield.

    The novel would be infinitely better had it been called “The Life and Times of David Copperfield.”

    If only Mr. Kubrick had the foresight to re-title Lolita so that audiences would have known exactly what the film was about. How about you call it “Jail Bait Lolita?” OMG I just made the movie a million times better. But hey, we all know how lazy the pair of Vladamir Nabokov and Stanley Kubrick were.

    If only all titles were as informative as “Transformers” b/c you know, it is a movie about things that transform. Genius!

    • Josh Zyber

      I’m sure it wasn’t your intention, but you’ve just placed the writers of the baseball-playing chimp movie ‘Ed’ on equal standing with Charles Dickens and Vladimir Nabokov.

      I’m not saying that there aren’t exceptions to this rule. I’m actually not bothered by titles named after the character if they’re in the form of a novel written as a fictional biography of a person’s whole life (like ‘David Copperfield’). I’ll also accept a TV show that’s an ongoing series of different stories focused around that character. (The TV show ‘Ed’ doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the movie ‘Ed’.)

      But for a movie that’s a one-off story about one specific plot development, yeah it’s lazy. Like ‘Michael Clayton’. Seriously, now. That’s a legal thriller. The writer couldn’t come up with some legal phrase pertinent to the plot? I can see the pitch meeting:

      – “That’s a great pitch. What will the movie be called?”
      – “Uh, damn, I actually never thought about that. Uhhh… Uhhh… How about we call it ‘Michael’. Yeah, that’s good, right?”
      – “John Travolta already made a movie called ‘Michael’. Can you tack the character’s last name onto that or something?”
      – “Sure, you got it!”

      Lazy, lazy, lazy.

      • BambooLounge

        Actually, my intention was to show how utterly irrelevant the title to a work is in regard to the stature of the author, who sometimes may not even be the one titling the work as is the case with some films.

        It is just a silly thing to be bothered about. It is a preposterous position to think that any work of merit can be summed up or adequately described in its title.

        It is almost like quite literally judging a book by its cover (well, the title printed there on at least).

        Is Blue Velvet about blue velvet? Is that the entire film? Is Memento merely a film about a token remembrance? Of course not, there are deeper themes being explored.

        Here are some other titles(not character names) that probably do not clue viewers into the film sans a trailer or movie poster if even then. The Matrix (the protagonist didn’t even know what the fuck it was until about 30 minutes in), Taxi Driver (a lot more than bitching about tips and gridlock), and Rain Man (not the biopic about rain dancing Native Americans we all thought it would be).

        It is just a very irrational and meaningless thing to judge any work or its creator for.

        • Josh Zyber

          You understand that this is a post about pet peeves, right? Not major complaints, just personal annoyances.

          I don’t need the title to tell me the plot of the film. I just need it to be more interesting than ‘Dave’.

          ‘Blue Velvet’, ‘Memento’, ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Rain Man’ are all great titles.

          • BambooLounge

            Yeah, I know. But, pet peeves are all fine and dandy as long as they make some semblance of sense. Saying, a movie can be made better by changing the title or that a screenwriter is lazy or in some way not as skilled as an other based upon the titling of the script is so far beyond logic as to not even be classified as a pet peeve.

            Food Critic’s Pet Peeves:
            – Overuse of garlic
            – Inedible garnish on the food
            – Cilantro
            – Blue plates

            Blue plates makes no sense because it has nothing to do with a food critic’s job. It has no bearing on the taste of the food nor the process of eating the food (removing inedible garnish). It is just arbitrary as the title pet peeve, it has nothing to do with the film.

            The title complaint is not a “Movie Pet Peeve.” It is akin to saying you hate the color pink and calling it a Movie Pet Peeve because there a movie’s that use the color pink or DVDs with pink cover art. Then saying, “Instead of Pink Panther, the film should have been called the Turquoise Panther. There, I just made the film a million times better.”

          • I’ll be the one to decide what my own pet peeves are, thank you.

            If the movie’s title is so irrelevant, I’m sure you won’t mind when the next film you’re interested in seeing is retitled ‘Movie For Pedophiles Only’ before release. Something tells me you might decide not to buy a ticket to that one because you find the title important after all. 🙂

  3. Zaserov

    Sound in space: While I agree that in general the whole sound in space thing is typically completely wrong, the inclusion of Apollo 13 made me wonder. Satellites and such in Earth orbit have to occasionally adjust for drag, so it is clear that some amount of atmosphere is still existent in low earth orbit. That makes me wonder if some sound actually does travel while in orbit; though I suppose that it would probably be moving so fast as to be hardly discernible anyway.

    Of course, now that that’s typed out, I realize “Oh, hey, Apollo 13 was a moon mission, with little time in Earth orbit.” Well, it’s typed now anyway.

    While I’m at it, another fun tidbit: in orbit, gravity is very nearly the same as it is on the Earth’s surface. Completely unrelated.

    Also: shaky cam bad. It just seems a like a cheap way to film action: since it cuts so often and causes confusion even in continuous shots, there’s very little need for talented actors / stunt people.

    • But, in Apollo 13, they were venting atmosphere. This gave sound something to travel in. Which is why I also kind of wonder about explosions in space – because usually ships will have some type of enviornment control. So this makes me wonder if some sound does exist. It would probably be localized – that is, if I am on the enemy ship, I would probably hear the explosion at the moment of my death, but the other ship probably wouldn’t. Also, if I am an astronaut wearing a jet pack, I might be able to hear the sound of the pack as I fire up the jets, because it travels through you.

      • I’m not talking about the sound of the atmosphere venting. I’m talking about the WHOOSH sounds as the capsule flies past the camera, which started in the movie long before they vented any air.

      • NigelCampbell

        But you would have to be inside the explosion in order to hear it – if there is a vacuum between you the listener and the explosion, then there would be no sound.

        I think you have to give Sci-fi a pass on this though – laser blasters where you can see the bolt of light travelling? too much to deal with so better to just go with the ride.

  4. I wholly agree with the OS depictions in movies/TV. All those POINTLESS sounds!! If real operating systems made so much noise while you used them, you’d scream! Plus, I can’t stand it when characters are typing away on the keyboard while the screen they’re looking at only shows a video. As if they’re controlling the view of the video solely based on the novel they’re typing at the same time. Lame.

    Another HUGE pet peeve of mine is when a VERY IMPORTANT plot point is explained in super speed and not remotely easy to understand. Sometimes crucial story points are so quickly explained it comes off as unimportant. This usually happens with movies that are adaptations of novels. I’m a huge Michael Crichton fan, and two of his best novels, Jurassic Park and Sphere have this problem in their movie counterparts. One of the best aspects of the novel Sphere is when they explain just how they figure out how to communicate with this mysterious sphere. In the movie, it takes about 1 minute and is such a non-issue no one even cares. In Jurassic Park, when Sam Jackson explains just how Dennis Nedry orchestrated his nefarious plan to steal Dinosaur DNA and sabotage the island, he took about two sentences to do it, and he spoke super fast with a cigarette in his mouth, plus the background music was as loud as his voice. There was almost no point in adding the dialog in the first place. It was like Spielberg was saying to the writers, “Enough with this exposition crap, I wanna see more DINOSAURS!!”

    Such a waste of time.

  5. My peeves seem to be tangentially related to the ones in the original post.

    Movies named after the main character’s name may be dull, but they’re preferable to titles that are just plain stupid. Sorry Josh but ‘President Dave’ sounds like something Troy McClure would star in. Anyway, titles that are just plain stupid. American indy movies are often the worst offenders. I’m not making this up: I saw one in a video store once called ‘The Velocity of Gary’. Seriously. I’ve never seen it. And neither, of course, has anyone else. ‘The Shawshank Redemption’? Yawn. ‘Smilla’s Sense Of Snow’. What?

    Which leads me to my second peeve: self-conscious and portentous use of the movie’s title in the movie’s dialogue. ‘Clear and Present Danger’. And I know Family Guy has aready done this, but they were right. It happens a lot but that’s the only one I can remember right now.

    And post coital prudishness? How about coital prudishness? The number of sex scenes these days where the acress wears a bra. What is this about? Why on earth was Katherine Heigl wearing a bra in all of Knocked Up’s sex scenes? Listen, Hollywood: if the actress has a no-nudity clause, DON’T CAST HER IN A MOVIE WITH SEX SCENES. This isn’t about seeing an actress’s tits (though there is that too), it’s about the scene having no relationship with reality. Again, this is the only title that springs to mind right now, but it happens a lot. Oh, also ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’, ‘Observe and Report’.

    • “Why on earth was Katherine Heigl wearing a bra in all of Knocked Up’s sex scenes?”

      Right? And there are other ways to handle a no nudity clause, like shooting from behind! I love that movie, but that scene annoys me.

      Plus, don’t cast Katherine Heigl in a comedy. Or anything. Ever. 🙂

      • Apropos of nothing, I just noticed that all three of the movies I cited in my last peeve starred Seth Rogen. Maybe actresses just don’t like disrobing in front of Seth Rogen.

    • Josh Zyber

      ‘President Dave’ would work for the same reason that ‘King Ralph’ works (as a title — disregarding their relative merits as movies otherwise). It’s the combination of a lofty rank with a mundane name. And it’s certainly a better title than ‘Dave’, which tells you nothing about the movie. What if ‘King Ralph’ were just called ‘Ralph’? Lame.

      About the bras during sex, yeah that bugs me too. The most egregious example I can think of is the Canadian film ‘Y.P.F.’ (which is hilarious, by the way). The movie has a fair amount of nudity, except for the character played by an actual Playboy Playmate, who keeps her bra on the whole time! What’s up with that?

  6. Nathan

    I hate when people (or in some cases, velociraptors) are near a computer screen and it somehow gets projected ONTO THEIR FACE. Like in Hackers. Ugh.

    • Man, Jurassic Park is one of my favorites, but between the stupid operating system and magic computer screen it sure is taking a beating this week!

      And I can’t disagree. That shot with the binary code projected on the raptor’s face is just downright silly.

  7. As far as shakey cam, I am okay with it FOR CERTAIN ITEMS. For example, in a war scene, where everything is hectic, and we use the same camera to rapidly go from one person to the next to tell the story, that is an artistic story-telling device. It just works there. However, the shakey cam has been overused. If I am sitting here looking in at someone’s apartment and they are reading dialogue, there is NO reason for a shakey cam.

    My pet peeve is the unneeded insertion of sexual scenes / nudity and / or cussing. I am not one of those people who says it needs to be censored completley, don’t get me wrong. I am talking about when its inserted for no reason other than to change the rating, to get people talking about it, to get giggles, or whatever. But in that case, I am okay if that is supposed to be the theme of the movie. I mean, I was okay with Team America and South Park, I knew what I was getting. I was also okay with it in Pleasentville – it was used to tell the story, and then there was the moment when Reese Witherspoons character realizes she didn’t change to color simply by having sex – the idea was about accepting change.

    No, Starship Troopers – the shower scene, was unnecessary. Did not advance story, and was only in there to show some T&A. Many R rated movies, the language is thrown in just because they can. Big Love, I get it, you are a polygamist family, you have three wives, I don’t need to see a sex scene every other episode. Braveheart, I understand it was their honeymoon, but the romance between the two could have been told without the lady showing her tits.

    That being said, there are otehr movies it works on. Robin Hood: Prince of Theives – the nudity in it was funny (this was probably due to the fact that we were watching it from a distance so it wasn’t an eye-full). Terminator 2 – we saw the nudity but we did not see full anatomy. I was fine with it, but also because it was a story telling device.

    • For Starship Troopers it WAS in there for a reason, it was there simply to show that nudity and such didnt make a difference anymore between men and women, especially in the armed forces, Verhoven’s movies have always been full of that kind of stuff, pokes at government, our own reality and our views….it wasnt just in there to show some T&A

      • I can scarcely think of a LESS sexualised use of nudity in movies than the Starship Troopers shower scene.

        Not that there’s anything wrong with sexualised nudity, but I doubt William could’ve come up with a worse example to support his point.

    • That’s funny. I’d say it’s another of my pet peeves that there isn’t nearly enough gratuitous nudity in movies anymore. Hollywood has gotten ridiculously prudish in recent years, ever since it decided that every movie needs to be PG-13.

      • I’m glad someone finally said this. I especially miss gratuitous full-frontal. Remember “Humanoids from the Deep”? “Porky’s”? “Friday the 13th Part 2”? “Pinocchio’s Revenge”? They were all masterpieces because of BUSH.

  8. Jayson

    My biggest pet peeve is when the character or characters are from a certain region or country and the actor(s) don’t even make an attempt at an accurate accent. For example Valkyrie is comprised of mosly Nazies, none of which have a German accent. It drives me crazy.

    • I don’t know what is worse, that, or when the accent is extreamely fake. You don’t know how many movies I have seen with bad southern or Texas accents. Last I checked, our accent was not that pronounced.

      • Jayson

        I totally agree. Southern accents seem to be the worst victim of that. Just seems to me that with the money that someone like Tom Cruise costs they could afford an actor with the chops to do it right.

  9. Nicholas

    When soldiers or secret agents have to hide a bomb with a digital readout that makes a beeping sounds as it counts down. I figure the reason that someone would make a bomb that beeps is to try alert those you’re about to blow up to the bombs location so they can find the bomb right before the display hits 0:00.

    • How about just bombs with digital readouts in general? There’s no need for the readout. It’s only there so that the hero knows how much time he has left to disarm it.

    • Ugh! Deffinately! I want to see someone disable a bomb at like 3 hours and 19 minutes remaining or something. Or a bomb that we have no clue when its about to blow up because there is no digital readout. Or a bomb that, because it was remotely activated, can also be remotely disabled.

      • NigelCampbell

        I’ll go one further and say that Binary liquid bombs drive me crazy – you know the sort of thing – two tanks of coloured liquid mix and then it explodes (Die Hard with a Vengence, The X-Files – fight the future etc.) It’s a science fail and worse still it is primarily the reason why we can’t take bottles of liquids through airports (governments prefer movie science to real science)

  10. I’m a big hater of saying the name of the movie within the movie, but I have exceptions to that, say with Minority Report, the name of the movie is after something in the movie, the ones that just have people saying the name of the film really pisses me off, for example “The World is Not Enough” Bond actually says this in reply to the villain saying he could have the world, “Well the World is Not Enough” Man that pisses me off every time I hear it

    Another is characters singing the theme song made for the movie, IE SWAT, everyone going off and sounding out that title theme song is just freaking retarded to no end

    • Josh Zyber

      Technically, Bond says that “The World is Not Enough” was his family motto. And that was something taken from Ian Fleming. However, the dialogue in that movie is so bad in general, I wouldn’t dream of arguing with you on it.

      I agree with the SWAT thing. That’s just terrible. We’re supposed to believe that these characters have seen the TV show that just happened to be about people with their same names and jobs? Yes, it was just a joke, but it was a stupid joke in a stupid movie.

  11. Turd Furgeson

    My biggest pet peeves have to do with contemporary cinema.

    #1: Digital Blood Splatter
    It has never been used convincingly in a live-action movie, and it never will… unless the purpose of for the effect to intentionally look bad and campy.

    #2: 3D
    It adds nothing to a story, and is nothing more than a theme-park style gimmick. And by the way, when there are various planes of 2D throughout a frame, that’s not actually 3D. And also by the way, you can’t ‘shoot in 3D’, you can only shoot with more than one 2D camera. And another thing by the way, while watching ‘3D’ much of the detail and resolution of the picture is lost, along with about half of the brightness [of a 2D movie], thanks in part to the asinine glasses one must wear. Then there’s theater ticket prices, home theater compatibility, the loss of depth of field in movies (due to everything having to be in focus), and on and on and on…

    • *spoilers*
      Digital blood-spatter has even been used by maestros of violence which PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF. Marty used it in spades at the end of “The Departed” when Leo, Anderson and Damon take their headshots. It didn’t look good then; it looks worse now. Michael Mann used it at the end of “Public Enemies” when Depp gets taken out. Everything before Depp getting capped was directed with such Hitchcockian finesse and THAT was the result? A poorly done digital massacre? And Romero pretty much made all of “Land of the Dead” with a compy and somehow the CGI still seemed more organic than the actors.

  12. Ivan Gomez

    I must say that i think overuse of special digital effects is what i find myself hating recently… Fight club intro is great but then there is the intro in spiderman 2 and 3 or the hulk intro (i think the first hulk). In Ironman it works due to being blueprints like images but i think there should be a merit in movie intros to add something not just eyecandy. Or let me put it this way: In matrix it works because Neo starts to see the fake in agents and walls due to an awakening, but in swordfish it doesn´t because i really dont understand why a hacker would waste time in creating a graphic interface of his “trojan” reconstructing itself… Just infuriating eyecandy.

  13. Mike Christy

    My biggest pet peeve would have to be the rapid cuts used with any action scene in almost all films made since they started giving music video directors the reins of feature films. I don’t know if it’s just me, but there seem to be precious few directors who know how to do this so that the action flows smoothly and CAN BE FOLLOWED. Also it isn’t necessary for action to be cut this way. I just re-watched “Vanishing Point” and despite the incredible high speed chase action depicted, the edits were far from the rapid fire assault of today. To this day it is considered to be one of the best chase films ever.
    My other peeve would have to be the hack directors and writers who churn out sludge that is universally reviled and somehow continue to get more films financed. I can understand it in the case of say a Michael Bay, who at least has a visual sense and who’s films usually make money; but I’m speaking more of the Uwe Bolls of the world.

    • Daniel O'Reilly

      You might want to watch Boll’s Rampage. It could be considered morally reprehensible, but its probably the best thing he’s ever made.

  14. Daniel O'Reilly

    One thing I didn’t see mentioned here: TV’s that are always on the right channel when they need to be.

    Main character receives a phone call:

    Main Character: Hello?

    Caller: Quick! Turn on CNN!

    Main Character switches on the TV, and immediately, we are looking at a CNN newscast.

    The newscast goes full screen, the reporter speaking.

    Reporter: …this is the scene tonight, where…

  15. David Raetsen

    My movie (and TV) pet peeve is coffee cups that we are supposed to believe have liquid in them being waved around by gesturing actors so that it’s plainly obvious that they are, in fact, empty. Directors, insist that actors actually have something in the mugs and cups they carry so that they are forced to handle them realistically. Same goes for “heavy boxes” that bounce when they are set down so we can all tell they are also empty.