Friday, November 13, 2009

Rules of the Reels

A list of Movie Rules from Roger Ebert's Movie Glossary. This is - assuredly - not the whole list, which is gigantic. I don't really care if these are funny to you. They were to me. There were quite a few more amusing ones.

Anti-Anti-Auto Theft Device
Any actor can start any car by pulling any two wires from under the dash and touching them together to make them spark. This not only starts the car but it also defeats the steering columns locking mechanism.

Breathing Corpse Syndrome
No one in the movies or on television has ever looked convincingly dead, a condition much harder to fake than an orgasm.

California Sunrise
As viewed from North America, the sun rises from the Atlantic at an angle up and to the right, and sets into the Pacific at a corresponding angle down and to the right. Lazy California directors fake an East Coast sunrise by filming a California sunset and running it backward, though this causes the sun to rise up and to the left.

Clean air duct principle
Whenever the protagonist attempts to sneak through a secure building ("Die Hard," "The Simpsons"), the air ducts are always clean and dust free, never coated with dust bunnies or causing so much as a sneeze.

Dead for Sure, No Doubt About It
In a movie, the absolute proof of the death of a character is when blood drips slowly from the corner of the mouth. This is in too many movies to document. An interesting variation was the dripping of liquid metal from the evil mutant's mouth in "X-Men 2." As a physician, I can tell you that blood coming from the mouth after a fight is either, 1) a sign of a communication of the esophagus with a major blood vessel, which would be fatal, or 2) a cut

Hot Tub Rules
If a hot tub is seen in a movie, people will take their clothes off and get in it. If the women have large breasts, it's a T&A movie. If the women have small breasts, it's a drama or a foreign film. If the women keep their underwear on, it's a coming-of-age movie. If it's a slasher movie or a thriller, there will be an electrical appliance located nearby.

Mutations for the Entire Family
A movie mutant action hero will only mutate in ways that won't interfere with a PG-13 film rating. Example: Spider-Man shoots web out of his wrists. Real spiders shoot web out of their butts.

Generic Drinker Syndrome
Characters in movies always order "beer." As a bartender, I have observed that no one ever just orders "beer." They always call their beer. Movie characters frequently take a small sip and then leave without finishing their drinks, or paying for them (occasionally one character will throw some uncounted bills on the table). In real life, people suddenly called away from the bar take time to upend their glass and greedily suck down whatever is left.

Watch Your Step Rule
Suicides always choose the ledge with the pigeon.


ccyager said...

Oh, I love this! It's like in the original "Star Trek," whenever they beamed down for something, anybody wearing a red shirt was definitely going to get zapped into oblivion.

Ebert is so good at this stuff!

Peter T said...

Funny indeed, but:
> Characters in movies always order "beer." As a bartender, I have observed that no one ever just orders "beer."

How do they order in the US instead? In many German pubs, one just orders a "Pils" (which is a type of beer brewed like the original Pilsner beer) or an "Alt", because many bars have only one beer of each type (like MacDonalds sells only Coke and BurgerKing only Pepsi).

Gopher MPH said...

In America, people order by brand. "I'd like a Bud" or sometimes by both brand & volume: "I'd like a pint of Guinness".

If you said "I'd like a pilsner", the barkeep is definitely going to ask you which kind. (assuming she knows what one is) With that one type of beer here, bars always have more than one, even if it's the same company: e.g. Bud and Bud Light.

If I asked for a stout, and they had only one, the bartender is still likely to ask "Is a Bell's okay?", to avoid problems if I expected a Guinness.

This is in contrast to distilled liquors, where people generally don't specify a brand. "I'd like a gin & tonic" will provide you with the bar's least expensive gin. If you're picky, you'd need to specify, for example: "A Tanqueray and tonic".

Gopher MPH said...

@ ccyager:
the Red Shirt syndrome was one of the rules listed, I think. Not so much uniquely star trek, but that Trek was just the most obvious method of determining who was going to die (as there's 7 or 8 movies, this applies here, not just as a TV show).

I didn't notice whether the Red Shirts all died in the newest movie. Maybe creating the alternative-version of Star Trek, the extra security staff can once again look forward to a potential life span longer than 2 hours.