Thursday, September 11, 2008

Department of Cliches

Here at the Department of Cliches we play a large part toward influencing plot storylines. For example, if you have the need for a train scene in your movie, we offer either of the following options:

- Bridge is out just ahead…big scramble trying to either stop the train or exit the train

- Person is tied to the train tracks with a train coming

- Somebody is killed on the train, characters must figure out which passenger did it

Thanks to our influence in the horror genre now any character that proceeds alone into anything will definitely be attacked or killed.

Our regulations per article 2.1.14 state that all Zombies used in movies will move slowly, be grumpy and want to attack living humans to eat them. For extra cost you can petition for really fast zombies but the other criteria still has to exist in order to get approved.

We also work on time-based cliché regulations as well. For example, we currently have a mandate that any fast action sequences be shot with tight camera shots and shake like the movie Blair Witch Project. Studies have shown that vomiting at the theater allows more room in the viewer’s stomach for further concession purchases.

Romance Comedies: Our regulations require that by two thirds into the movie they must either:

a. Move into the serious portion of the movie with the possibility of said romance evaporating in a most unfavorable manner.

b. Get angry, mean, or depressing for at least 30 minutes before saving it with a happy predictable ending

We also get involved into career strategy as well. All actors on the “A” list are required to delve into personal odd independent films that will be critically acclaimed but that nobody is really interested in seeing.

Yes, here at the department of clichés we work tirelessly to set expectations as predictable as possible when going to the movies. Nobody wants a shocking surprise these days!


MJ said...

You forgot:

When a woman in a romantic comedy is choosing between two men to be with, she must choose the underdog.

Dee said...

and don't forget in a scary movie a woman always tried to run with high heels on.

leelee said...

How about in old films when a couple gets caught in the rain, they go back to "her place" and she insists he wear her frilly bathroobe, its too short and he is wearing sock garters. TEE HEE

too obscure? or just too lame...what can I say


Jeff and Charli Lee said...

...or when the pizza delivery guy shows up and then next thing you know there's chucka-chucka-wow-wow music going on and...

Oh wait, you're probably talking about a different kind of movie.

leelee said...

lol w/ Jeff

Ed said...

mj - Ha! Good point. What if she must choose between Underdog and underwear in a giant on location Down Under special? Never mind...

dee - That sounds like a horror! It would be my nightmare to run with high heels...

leelee - Sock garters... bwahahaha. But now the frilly; I didn't think about wearing that...

Jeff- Ha ha. Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. That entire industry is a cliche showpiece! ps - love the 'chuck a chucka wow wow' phrase. Is that copywrited? You should put out a compilation!

Megan said...

I would love to see the regulations for the buddy cop genre...

Ed said...

megan - Hoo boy...the regulations are thick on those. Where do you think the "good cop bad cop" routine came from?

padraig said...

Regulations for the buddy cop genre:

1.1 - Partnerships
* 1.1.01 - partners shall never consist of two members of the same sex and race
** 1.1.01a - there is an exception in the event both characters are white males
*** 1.1.01a1 - if both are white males, one will have a drinking or anger management problem.
** 1.1.01b - there is an exception in the event that both characters are white females
*** 1.1.01b1 - if both are white females, one will have been the victim of a rape, or will be raped during the first half of the movie
* 1.1.02 - biracial partnerships will involve at least one racial stereotype, or will involve anti-stereotypes.
** 1.1.02a - currently, approved anti-stereotypes only include upper class Republican blacks. All others must submit form RS-101.bc to the board for approval.
* 1.1.03 - only one of the partners can be a happily married family man or woman
** 1.1.03a - if one partner is happily married, the other must be one of the following:
*** 1.1.03a1 - divorced
*** 1.1.03a2 - homosexual
*** 1.1.03a3 - in love with their partner's spouse
*** 1.1.03a4 - widowed
**** 1.1.03a4.1 - if widowed, the death of the windower's spouse must be related to the central story plotline.
**** 1.1.03a4.2 - there is an exception this plotline requirement for movies with planned sequels.

1.2 - Dialog
* 1.2.01 - one of the partners must have a regional dialect or pattern of speaking that can be exploited for humor purposes.
** 1.2.01a - there is an exception when one of the partners is just batshit crazy, this supersedes the previous requirement.
* 1.2.02 - if one of the partners is male and the other is female, sexual tension is required in the dialog
** 1.2.02a - there is an exception if one of the characters is widowed, as per 1.1.03a4 above.
** 1.2.02b - if widowed, see section 1.3.1a below for required subplots, dialog must accommodate said subplot.

1.3 - Subplots
* 1.3.1 - Romantic Interest
** 1.3.1a - one of the following must be true
*** 1.3.1a1 - the partners must be romantically involved
*** 1.3.1a2 - one of the partners must be actively involved in attempting to "hook up" the other partner
*** 1.3.1a3 - one of the partners must be actively involved in attempting to repair the other's broken relationship
*** 1.3.1a4 - one of the partners must be sleeping with the other's spouse/significant other
** 1.3.2 - [redacted]
** 1.3.3 - [redacted]
Sections 1.3.2 and 1.3.3 are currently under review.

2.1 - Villains
* 2.1.1 - Ethnic Villains preferred
* 2.1.2 - Exceptions are granted for hot female villains
** 2.1.2a - hot female villains must have demonstrated on-screen tendencies to aberrant, deviant, or kinky sexual behavior
* 2.1.3 - Further exceptions granted for homosexual male villains
** 2.1.3a - homosexual male villains will possess one of the two following characteristics:
*** 2.1.3a1 - effeminate speaking patters (exploited for humor value as per 1.2.01, above)
*** 2.1.3a2 - aberrant, deviant, or kinky sexual behaviors as per 2.1.2a above. Note in this case "homosexual" does not satisfy this requirement. Evaluation by the Sexual Advisory Board recommended.

3.1 - Central Plot
* 3.1.1 - [redacted]
* 3.1.2 - [redacted]
* 3.1.3 - [redacted]
* 3.1.4 - [redacted]
* 3.1.5 - [redacted]
* 3.1.6 - Drug Lord
** 3.1.6a - Drug Lord must be ethnically one of the following:
*** 3.1.6a1 - Hispanic
*** 3.1.6a2 - Asian
*** 3.1.6a3 - [redacted]
** 3.1.6b - There is a limited number of "Drug Lord" Central Plots allowed per movie season (as defined in SB304a-Beta, attached). Please file a Request For Release form 12/4qB six months prior to scheduled premier for clearance.
* 3.1.7 - Terrorist - (note: Preferred Central Plot post 9/11)
** 3.1.7a - Terrorist must be ethnically one of the following:
*** 3.1.7a1 - [redacted]
*** 3.1.7a2 - [redacted]
** 3.1.7b - Terrorist must be religious (Muslim).
** 3.1.7c - 3.1.7b supersedes 3.1.7a, following Regulation AZb01, pending ratification.
** - Villain type 3.1.6a3 (Opium Lord) has been permanent re-classified as Terrorist, following Regulation AZb01, pending ratification.

sprinkle4 said...

Okay, THANK YOU....I thought that whole shaking camera thing was my eyes going bad! (Of course, YES, I was too stupid to ask if it bothered anyone else:))

Oh, and could you please put in a department of Weather Channel Cliches, i.e., "it's going downhill quickly" (which I heard no less than 12 times in 8 minutes today)....Thanks!

Beth said...

Any cliches for the science fiction, gratuitous violence and porn genres?

Ed said...

Padraig - Holy hell...I think you've worked for this department before! ha ha. Wow...At first I thought somebody spammed me given the long nature of the comment but then'd done about two blog posts worth of continuation of the cliche bylaws! Excellent work. If I had a worthless blog award to award you, I would!

sprinkle4 - Seems my blog is going downhill quickly too...does that mean it is going to rain?

beth - Of course. All planets will be breathable by humans and language will not be an issue. Explosions will happen in space irregardless of the fact that it is not physically possible. Gravity will be solved even though we have no clue as to how it works in the first place. As to porn...see Jeff's response and my reply. As to violence...well, I'll let padraig reply...he did so well with the cop buddy one!

Serena said...

I hate that shaky camera thing. I'd rather see fast moving zombies and more road at the end of the bridge any time -- as long as it's not shaking.

Bee said...

Well here's a surprise:

I'm a man baby!


Chris Eldin said...

Somebody should write a book of cliches! Ahem.

There are a bunch in fantasy writing too. You're funnier with this stuff, I'm sure you can put a hilarity spin on them!

Les James said...

I got bored half way through this post. (This happens at lot to me, especially when I'm proof read my own stuff) I found it to be rather, I don't know...maybe cliche.

Ed said...

sj - Me too. It's one of my most annoying cliches they do. They did that with the second of the Bourne movies and I refused to buy it even though I own the first and third.

bee - You're a man? Well I'll bet the husband was surprised about that!! ;)

chris - Somebody should. Of course my talents exist on the legnth of a single post and go kerplunk after that. I can't believe their isn't already a compilation of those things. That would be a huge hole of useless information (my specialty)

les james - I got bored halfway through your comment. Commenting with plain words is so cliche...

a. said...

Romantic Comedy -
Finally they both realize they love each other, then some event resulting from previous distaste of each other comes to fruition resulting in crushing of one party's heart.
Followed by: idiotic public display of affection by crushing party toward crushed party.
Immediately followed by: happily ever after.

Great stuff, nevertheless.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Why does everyone think I'm talking about porno movies? I was referring to pizza delivery training videos. Sheesh. Get your minds out of the gutter people!

Ed said...

annie ha - Yeah...did you know Pretty Woman originally ended with her going back to drugs in San Francisco instead of him coming to rescue her? The audience was not they changed it.

jeff - Not Pizza Off Road Navigation. The official training manual for pizza deliveries out in the countryside. Jeez...get your mind out of the gutter. ;)

Unknown said...

I'm just glad that finally we have a proper government department that regulates zombies.

It had been worrying me, y'see ...

Megan said...

VE - Sorry I unleashed the Pat Monster. (No worries, Padraig, you know I love you like a brother...)

Alex L said...

Sports movies are the worst for predictability though.

Maureen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said...

Let me try this again in proper English.... gah.

OMG! VE and Jeff need to do a blog together to keep us all entertained.... you make a great team.

VE: Don't forget the guy in red on the Away Team will always get killed, as will the cop who is only days away from retirement.

lime said...

don't forget the importance of hype and market saturation with every conceivable accoutrement emblazoned with characters from the movie.

Ed said...

chris wood - Worry no more. All the zombies are in the union now. They're very effective during strikes...

megan - No worries here...he's always coming up with some witty comment...I like that.

alex - No way! Really? The down and out team that is in last place suddenly gets the inspiration and motivation to turn it around in a single season?

maureen - Yeah, Jeff's a funny guy; we did partner on a post on his blog once. But a partnership...would I get to portray the stupid one though? Hoping... Hoping... Hoping...

lime - That's true. Zombies make good stress squeezers and drink cups. And if you cut up the only good parts and put them into ads for the don't really need to see the rest of the movie. Who often does that happen?

Alex L said...

Hey you've seen them to!

Anonymous said...

Dude, I watched 90210 the next generation or whatever the other night with my girls. We could have totally turned it into a drinking game with Spot the Cliche...

RED MOJO said...

That's right, no one wants a shocking surprise from the movies. We rely on politics for those nowadays.

Ed said...

alex - Oh...yes I have! ;)

kelley - Yes, but with that many cliches everyone would have passed out!!!

red mojo - Ha! Good point. We now have to go to the movies to relax with predicitibility...