Summer movies are upon us. And like an explosion that’s been shot in 2D, then converted to 3D as a marketing gimmick, they both excite us and make us slightly queasy. What better way to celebrate our ambivalence than with Clichemageddon 3D.
Unlike the people who actually make the summer movies, I’m trying something a little different this year. Instead of a fill-in-the-blank contest like in 2010 and 2009, this time you’ll take existing movies and insert cliches. You see, on rare occasions, Hollywood will make a film that isn’t entirely predictable and by the numbers. Your challenge is to correct these oversights.
Think you’re up to it? Then read on…
I’m listing four cliches below. Think about how they can “improve” your favorite films, and write up an example in the comments. You can either just describe the scene, or give us some dialogue. But no need to go overboard; I’m not giving out bonus points for length. You can certainly tackle just one or two cliches, and I’ll be picking my favorites for each of the four. But if you want to win this lovely t-shirt, which will totally earn you Cool Points at your local hipster bar, you have to do ALL four. (You don’t have to use the same movie for all four, although that could be kind of cool.)
1. ADD A ONE-LINER TO A FAMOUS SCREEN DEATH. What’s the point of killing someone if you don’t say something funny/cool after you do it? Example: Sonny Corleone gets shot at a toll booth. An assassin walks up to the dying but still barely alive mafioso. “You should have brought your EZ Pass,” he smirks, before shooting him in the face.
2. THE BAD GUY IS STILL MIRACULOUSLY ALIVE. As the writer Kevin Williamson pointed out in the original Scream, “This is the moment when the supposedly dead killer comes back to life, for one last scare.” The beauty of this is it allows us to kill the bad guy all over again. Example: After Darth Vader throws the Emperor down the reactor shaft, he and Luke share a tender moment. “Tell your sister… you were right.” Suddenly, the Emperor is back, horribly burnt but still throwing lightning. Luke realizes that both he and his father lost their lightsabers in the throne room. Luke exchanges a look with his dad, and then they both use the Force to send Vader’s faceplate flying across the room like a buzzsaw, decapitating the Emperor. (For extra points, incorporate a one-liner.)
3. INSERT ANCIENT PROPHESY. Harry Potter, The Matrix, The Mummy 2, Avatar, the Star Wars prequels…. any blockbuster worth its celluloid needs to have a whispered myth that makes the main character not merely a hero, but The Chosen One. Example: “Every inmate in Shawshank had heard the prophesy about the man who would someday escape these walls with the aid of a beautiful woman. The one who would crawl through filth and come out clean as morning dew. I always thought it was a lot of nonsense. I certainly never thought it was going to be Andy Dufresne.”
4. ADD CRAZY CAR CHASE. Is there any movie that could NOT be improved by the magnificent sight of a police car flying into the air, twisting around like an Olympic gymnast, and landing on top of another police car? No, there isn’t. Science has proven this. Example: “If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” “But Rick, the plane’s leaving from the airport in 15 minutes, and we’re on the other side of town! We’ll never make it!” “My dear, I’d like to introduce you to the only German thing I like: my 1939 supercharged Mercedes-Benz. I named her Ilsa–hope you don’t mind. Hold onto your hat, kid.”
You’ve got five days to leave a comment below with your Clichemageddon 3D entries. The comments will close Friday at midnight, and winners will be announced next week. So have fun
ruining improving your favorite films… and good luck.