I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I’m a film snob. A big one. It takes a lot for me to actually like a film. Example: I caught that new Jamie Foxx flick a few weeks ago and hated it. Most everyone I know loves it. Not that it wasn’t entertaining in some respects, but I felt like so much of what happened in the film didn’t make sense and wasn’t plausible (I won’t explain it further because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it).
There was one thing that thing that sorta shocked me, though: A particular black character lived throughout the entire film when I was certain death was imminent. It made me wonder if Hollywood has really received and implemented that memo about blacks not liking it when black characters die (abrutly/first) in films. Think about it. We’ve come a long way since “Scream 2” when Jada Pinkett and Omar Epps were knocked off within the first five minutes, haven’t we?
That got me thinking about a few other things I hope to never see in film ever again. Maybe Hollywood will listen. Here goes:
1. Denzel Washington playing a cop or public official. If I ever meet him, I’m asking him to read me my Miranda rights just to be sure he knows them. He should. Denzel is more typecast Ludacris playing a rapper. I know he does different films, but it has to get old playing a cop. And even when he’s not playing a cop now, he’s still conducting cop-like activity. Take “The Taking of Pelham 123” for instance: He’s a “regular guy” who runs the MTA subway system in New York who just so happens to get caught in the middle of hostage situation and ends up being the negotiator. Right. The craziest part of it is that his best roles (“Malcolm X,” “John Q,” and “The Hurricane” — my opinion) don’t have him playing that recycled role.
2. The black guy chasing/catching cars and trains on foot. “Bad Boys.” Will Smith. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Actually, Will’s been guilty of this one a few times. “Men In Black” comes to mind. Usain Bolt is fast. But he’s not keeping pace with a car going 30 mph for five minutes in a film. Funny thing: Denzel did the exact same thing in “Pelham 123.”
3. Guys walking away from fire cool, calm and collected. The first time I saw this shot (It was probably the Governator in “True Lies”) I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then I realized that I don’t know anyone who’s going to slowly walk away from fire as though it’s not hot. I get they do it for the “cool” factor, but it’s not realistic. Even action hero skin burns. Anyone with any good sense would run. So it only makes sense for them to do it in the films.
4. No bullets in the good guys, but plenty of shells. If 200 rounds fly in my direction, chances are I’m probably going to catch a few in the chest. Yet somehow, in most actions flicks, action heros are dodging bullets like Neo in the Matrix, and they’re not the one. It makes no sense. Bruce Willis should have died 100 deaths in film by now. Yet the only one I know of is the one where he sacrificed himself for the planet earth in “Armageddon.”
5. Opening the door with the “creeky noise” in the horror film. I get that horror films must have foolish characters in them for them to work. But this is ridiculous. If you’re watching people get knocked off left and right, the last thing you need to do is go anywhere near a strange noise. A character should be smart enough at that point to run the other way. But they never do. Nope, they go toward their inevitable deaths, which often makes the film unwatchable.
6. The girl who trips and gets caught by the bad guy because she can’t get up. This one annoys the hell outta me because it always seems to happen at the most inopportune time. You don’t see people fall just for the sake of falling because they’re clumsy. No, they trip and don’t get up so they can get caught by the killer… How novel.
7. Madea. No need in explaining this for the 1,243,097th time.
What film cliches do you hope to see Hollywood rid itself of immediately?