Archives for category: Explanations

Film fans by now are likely aware there was an announcement that longtime action hero Bruce Willis would be stepping away from acting due to “aphasia.” If that’s code for dementia, I feel for Bruce and his family. Having dealt with it up-close, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. It also throws a huge plot twist into unflattering perceptions about his recent choices of films (these films should still be assessed apart from his health issues). Cashing huge checks to play token roles in a plethora of mediocre movies reeks of exploitation. The question now becomes: who was exploiting who?

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight repeatedly recycled film topics. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

An action movie. The star is not American. The script calls for an American. The star plays the American but makes no effort to sound like an American. Because it’s an action movie. This. my friends, is the Schwarzenegger Problem. I can give you 100 examples of dramas in which British actors nail various American dialects, but action flicks apparently spend too much on pyro and not enough on voice coaches. It’s not just Arnold. Liam Neeson is the worst current perpetrator. It’s an unnecessary distraction. Just fix the script. Give him an immigrant backstory. Why is this so hard?

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight storytelling techniques repeatedly recycled in film. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

Frequently used in romantic movies, particularly teen films. The film’s star pretends to be something they’re not (rich if they’re poor, nerdy if they’re cool, sometimes hiding their race or sex, etc.). Either they’re doing it to impress a love interest or they meet cute with the love interest while masquerading for some other reason. The plan works until the masquerader is eventually exposed, to the disappointment of the love interest. From there, the film typically engineers a way for the masquerader and love interest to patch things up, with the masquerader having learned a little something about themselves (aww).