It actually physically pains me to watch a movie when these things happen. It is a squirming pain, part embarrassment and part frustration, like being in front of relatives while a dentist extracts a sex toy that took a really wrong turn.
For those who think I am “picky”, please keep in mind that while I walked out of Francis Coppola’s “Dracula”, Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, and Pixar’s “Rango”, I sat through and enjoyed “Balls Of Fury.”
Every annoyance has been assigned a percentage. When the total reaches 100%, I am gone. Current record: Turning off “Insidious” on Netflix in ten minutes.
For each instance of:
Self-reference, say by using sound effects from other movies like The Wilhelm Scream +10%
I get it, Director! You are an old movie fan. Now that you have carefully crafted a world, by all means put in an inside joke to jolt me back out and make me roll my eyes at your pretension.
Predictable Dialogue +20%
If I can predict what the character is about to say, you are not paying homage to a genre. You are boring me, “Insidious”. (I lasted until I was leading Rose Byrne by thirty seconds)
Kevin Smith +30%
He is witty. He is clever. However, he talks about people I already know, using language I already use, composed in camera shots I could have done. Thanks to Kevin Smith, I discovered I go to movies to go somewhere new. And get away from…
Stunt Casting +15%
…Alanis Morisette as Mime God. (Which is why I did not make it through “Dogma”)
Poor Research +10%
Hey “Prometheus”, a billion miles from Earth, you are still in the Solar System.
Instance of Inconsistent Character Behavior +20%
If a man is terrified of the prospect of meeting aliens, why would he volunteer for deep space travel? And if he finally meets an alien, why would he suddenly want to put it in his pants? My god “Prometheus”…
Acting That Hurts +20%
Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in “Dracula” were accents wrestling with affects.
Trying To Be Tarrantino +50%
What was that movie with Walken and the cute tangential stories about off-beat petty criminals? That one. (“Three Days In The Valley” and that movie with the dogs and Tom Waits, both within twenty minutes)
Distancing Your Story Through Finding DEEP PORTENSE +50%
DEL TORO-O-O-O-O-O! Not everything is a goddam fairy tale! Sometimes things are scary because of unanswered questions, not because of elaborate backstories “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (The third BIG TRACKING SHOT) and “Mama” (When Ti-D-Bowl Mom finally showed up after scores of shadows, knocking, music stings, dire warnings, kid stares, and it was still the first reel).
Quirky Campy = Scary! +75%
“American Horror Story” will soon be performed at parties by fans of “Glee” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Do not ask about the sex toy reference. It was a dare and my elementary school records were expunged.